International Brand Tourism: Switzerland

As I travel to various countries both for work and for leisure, I notice differences in brands trends.  This article format summarizes the trends I observed and attempt to link them to facts and offer explanations for international brand differences.

Footwear: Asics

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The first brand I particularly noticed was Asics shoes, particularly casual shoes.  The Japanese performance shoe manufacturer is present in the United Kingdom but mostly in the form of running shoes, their sneakers are not particularly popular.  However in Switzerland Asics easily ranks along with Adidas and Nike as one of the most worn sneaker brands.  This trend reminded me a lot of France where I remember many people wearing Asics, hence suggesting that Asics sneakers are more popular amongst continental European consumers than in the United Kingdom.

Bags: Louis Vuitton

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In Zurich, and especially in Geneva, I could not help but notice the huge number of women carrying Louis Vuitton bags.  Young, old, casual or formal it seemed women from all walks of life carried the recognizable monogrammed bags.  My theory for this is that Vuitton’s popularity in Switzerland is due to a culture of accessories.  The most obvious luxury Swiss product is of course watches, and it would make sense that the country that brought the world Rolex, Hublot, Audemars Piguet and many others, would be willing to spend a lot on accessories.  If one is willing to spend on high quality and glamorous brand of bags, Louis Vuitton seems like a good match, especially given Switzerland proximity to France, both geographically and in terms of culture.

Louis Vuitton does not disclose detailed revenue by country, but it would be interesting to see if their sales per capita is higher in Switzerland than other countries such as the UK.

Mobile Phones: Samsung

Whilst Samsung is clearly on the rise, both in the UK and around the world, I found this trend very noticeable in Switzerland, in particular in Zurich.  I noticed Samsung Galaxy phones in the hands of adult both male and female, young and old, both professionally and casually.  Now Iphones were still very present, but they seemed like legacy possessions from previous years, old, and sometimes damaged , in comparison to the mostly shinning new galaxy phones. Now data (Swiss mobile phone market share chart below) shows that Apple still dominates the Swiss market, but that Samsung is quickly eroding its lead.  Hence, whilst my observation was not accurate, in the sense that Samsung is not the biggest smartphone player, it did identify a shift, as Samsung challenges Apple for the Swiss smartphone

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