Swissness or Swiss brand weakened on global stage, new ranking reveals
While the “Swiss brand” is known the world over, recent scandals involving Credit Suisse have started to hurt the country's reputation for quality, a study has suggested. According to the new ranking by Brand Finance, the Swiss brand is no longer the strongest national brand in the world, falling behind the United States and Canada in 2022.
Swiss brand boosts economy by 1,4 billion francs a year
According to estimates by the government in 2020, “Swissness” or the Swiss brand adds 1,4 billion francs to the economy every year. This is because international companies, local businesses and entrepreneurs in Switzerland are well known for producing high-quality goods and services, meaning many consumers are willing to pay more for Swiss-made goods.
Despite this, by estimating how much value is added to products once their country of origin's reputation is taken into account, Brand Finance found that Switzerland was only the third strongest national brand in the world in 2022, behind Canada and the United States - the country came first in 2021. According to Watson, the alpine nation’s score has fallen precipitously in recent years.
Swisness brand not as strong thanks to banking scandals
While Brand Finance argued that the reasons behind Switzerland’s worse score were varied, Watson identified the scandals in the Swiss banking industry as the main catalyst. According to the BAK Economics Institute, the many scandals at Credit Suisse, which led to the UBS-Credit Suisse merger, resulted in a “major loss of image” for the banking sector. They told Watson that Swiss financiers will need a long time to win back the trust - and money - of wealthy investors.
“The Swiss banking system has traditionally been of great value. I doubt whether this is still the case at the moment," says David Stärkle from the Institute for Intellectual Property (IGE). However, the IGE - enforcers of the “Swissness Act” of 2017 which, among other things, forced Toblerone to change its logo earlier this year - said that while the crisis at Credit Suisse will impact the reputation of Swiss banking, it will do little to dissuade people from buying Swiss watches and other products.
Swiss brands remain strong despite the turmoil
As an example of how strong the Swiss brand is, Stärkle added that the IGE has been forced to take legal action against nearly 300 major international companies who try to fraudulently adorn their products with Swiss symbols. “We have to take care of Swissness. Because its worth is hard-earned," he concluded.
10 most reputable national brands in the world
In all, here are the 10 countries with the strongest national brand in 2022:
- 1. Canada (81,8)
- 2. United States (80,8)
- 3. Switzerland (80,7)
- 4. Germany (80,5)
- 5. Denmark (79)
- =6. France (78,9)
- =6. United Kingdom (78,9)
- 8. Japan (78,8)
- 9. Australia (78,6)
- 10. Sweden (77,6)
For more information, and to see how the ranking was calculated in more detail, check out the Brand Finance website.