Switzerland has a strong respect for traditions. It is an amazing country in which several companies have been here for centuries. And the most outstanding thing is that they are all more and more embracing the digital era, more than never. Here is our digital review in what Switzerland is doing at its best in terms of Luxury Digital strategies.
Swiss digital landscape, some key figures
Switzerland is definitely a small country with a very high level of competence and strong added-value services. Digital took a while to start but now the digital engine is pushing the gearbox further. Several companies are embracing the digital channel as an important part of their communication strategies. This is just the beginning, so digital has a strong future in Switzerland. If we have a look on the top 10 biggest media groups in Switzerland, 5 of them have a strong digital section. Google, as a 100% digital pure player, is ranked 7th now in Switzerland with a total sales in 2013 of 400 million CHF.
Here is the total ranking:
- SSR SRG with 1.6 MCHF
- PUBLIGROUPE with 1.1 MCHF
- RINGIER with 1.08 MCHF
- TAMEDIA with 1.05 MCHF
- NZZ with 0.51 MCHF
- GOLDBACH GROUP with 0.44 MCHF
- GOOGLE with 0.40 MCHF
- PUBLISUISSE with 0.32 MCHF
- SGA/APG with 0.38 MCHF
- AZ MEDIEN with 0.25 MCHF
Google grew a lot in Switzerland, especially thanks to the launch of Youtube Switzerland. According to Comscore, Youtube represents one third of total Google search queries in the world. So by launching youtube in Switzerland, it was just a burst into sales for Google. Another interesting information by Comscore is the top 20 most visited websites in Switzerland.
As we can see, Facebook reaches the top 3 most visit website with 3.2 million users in a country of 8 million people. This represents a penetration rate of 40% and the amazing figure of 64% if you only consider the internet Swiss population. Facebook also has the highest average minutes per visitor with 176 mn. Switzerland is also the land of smartphones, which definitely boosts the digital consumption.
Luxury Swiss Brands go Digital
There are several reasons why Swiss Luxury brands go digital. The global trend is bringing companies to embrace digital anyway as that is the way the world goes. But there are specific reasons for premium brands to develop a strong digital approach.
In 2012, Watch-making industry generated CHF 21.4 Billion earnings from tourism. Hotels and restaurants earned CHF 18 billion in the same year. Switzerland is a very visited country. Here below is the 2012 top 10 most visited cities in Switzerland by foreigners (overnight numbers) :
- Zürich with 2.2 million
- Geneva with 1.7 million
- Lucerne with 0.8 million
- Basel with 0.8 million
- Zermatt with 0.7 million
- Lausanne with 0.5 million
- St. Moritz with 0.5 million
- Davos with 0.4 million
- Berne with 0.4 million
- Opfikon with 0.4 million
source: Swiss Tourism Federation
So this top ten represents already 8.4 million people which is more than the Swiss population itself. While visiting the country, naturally tourists enjoy the possibility of doing some shopping. One of the biggest countries visiting Switzerland is China. Chinese tourists love to visit Switzerland and during their journey, the buy a lot! The Tribune de Genève, did a study about the percentage of sales done by Chinese tourists in Switzerland. If we take the watch-brands, here is what we discover.
The Watch-retailer Beyer in Bahnhoffstrasse in Zürich, Chinese tourists represent 15% of annual sales. At Omega shop in Zürich, this figure reaches 25 to 30%! Bucherer in Lausanne has already 10% of its sales. In Geneva, the BlancPain boutique declares a 15% of sales done with Chinese tourists. So in order to be on top of mind with the tourists, Swiss brands need to keep an ongoing communication with them. And that’s how Digital becomes an interesting platform. Tourists will buy brands they know and often they are very well informed about the “good brands” to purchase from.
We know, internet is a mass-media platform, but we also know that an interesting high-revenue customer is often a strong internet user, so luxury brands have an interest to communicate with them. And Swiss luxury and premium brands have developed interesting digital strategies to capture a worldwide potential customer’s attention. Here below 4 interesting examples: Corum Watches, Nespresso, Rolex and Victorinox.
Corum watches, pionnier in Responsive Design
Corum is a Swiss-based watchmaker established in La Chaux-de-Fond since 1955. They produce qualitative timepieces in which the Admiral’s cup is the iconic one. Since 2005 the Swiss brand established an innovative approach of Communication in order to increase the Brand awareness worldwide. Several interesting actions were put in place like the sponsorship of the World series of Poker that gave to the brand a strong worldwide visibility. Something in our eyes very interesting to highlight is their digital approach. Corum is one of the first Swiss watchmakers to invest into Responsive design. For a couple of years now, the official Brand website is done in full Responsive and the way the site content reacts on device recognition is quite unique and sophisticated. They work with the Swiss digital agency called Details.ch, a pure player based in Geneva. Here below are some screenshots of the website per device.
By adapting their website, and more than that, their brand message to specific digital audiences, Corum is reaching people the best way possible. When you know that 22% of total world population has a smartphone and that 7% has a tablet, you can be sure that only brands leading this technical development will be in the heart and minds of people. Try the experience yourself by visiting the brand website here: http://corum.ch
Nespresso, internet is your lifestyle
Since the launch of Nespresso in 1986, there was an aim for innovation and doing things like no one. The core concept of the brand was not about coffee (Nestlé had already Nescafé for that) it was about lifestyle. It was just a matter of time and the arrival of internet to allow the Swiss brand to develop a full online experience torwards its customers. They were one of the first Swiss companies to provide full e-commerce delivery in more than 100 countries in the world.
Nespresso knew that it was not all about the coffee. Of course the dark beverage should be good but it is all what is around the coffee that would make the difference. That’s why they have launched the Nespresso club in order to keep customers loyal and to improve the online experience.
With a full online experience, the Nespresso customer dives into the universe of the brand and benefits from several opportunities. From Avant-premiere launches, to events and online purchase offers, the Nespresso customer will build his lifestyle together with the brand. Experience more by visiting the official website here: http://www.nespresso.com.
Victorinox, celebrating 130 years of history… online!
It is difficult to talk about Switzerland without talking about Victorinox, the makers of the original Swiss Army knife. This Swiss company is the image of Swiss ingenuity and reflects a lot of what this country represents to several people around the world: Quality, Innovation, Iconic Design and multi-functionality. In 2014 Victorinox celebrates its 130th anniversary. In deed, Karl Elsener founded Victorinox in 1884 in the little village of Ibach in canton Schwyz. To celebrate the event, one of the Brand focus is its website. Victorinox has been leading in Switzerland digital story-telling since 2012. After highlighting people’s story throughout the operation Victorinox stories, now it was the time to tell its own story. The website is completely merged into the brand universe with a strong social media influence. The content is pulled from the different brand social networks, mainly Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. 3 themes are treated: The owner Elsener family, customers stories and the 25th anniversary of its Timepiece division.
To discover more about this amazing anniversary celebration, visit the dedicated website here:
As seen above, Switzerland has an incredible richness in terms of digital intelligence and creativity. Swiss brands are often market leaders and many times they are also leading the business online. And it is only the beginning.
Info sourced at the quoted brands websites, wikipedia, Bilan.ch, Comscore, Tribune de Genève and SocialBakers. All content is copyrighted with no reproduction rights available.