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3 Successful Marketing Strategies with Swiss Roots

Updated on October 16, 2012

The marketing strategies of K-Swiss, Victorinox, and TAG Heuer have helped these companies improve sales and drive customer interaction. They all have Swiss roots too!

K-Swiss Tubes Run 100 running shoe.
K-Swiss Tubes Run 100 running shoe. | Source


Swiss brothers Art and Ernie Brunner founded footwear company K-Swiss in 1966. The brothers relied largely on word-of-mouth marketing strategies before Steven Nichols purchased the company for $20 million in 1986.

In 2005, Nichols launched the successful K-Swiss online and in-store marketing campaign “Put your spin on it”, inviting customers to design their own shoes. By 2005, K-Swiss had over $500 billion in sales.

K-Swiss launched a controversial online marketing campaign through YouTube in 2011. The campaign consisted of five commercials that share information about the footwear using comedy. K-Swiss released the videos uncensored and they went viral. Some viewers claimed offence to swear words in the videos. While the campaign risked alienating consumers, the commercials brought K-Swiss global attention.

(Due to the language, writer chooses not to post commercial here).

Victorinox SwissChamp closed.
Victorinox SwissChamp closed. | Source


Victorinox is legendary for its Swiss Army Knife. As original supplier of knives to the Swiss army, Victorinox created the symbol of the shield and cross to brand the knives and stand out from competitors. The logo design is similar to the Swiss country flag, which led many consumers to believe the Swiss government manufactured the knives.

Victorinox launched its watch line in 1989. The company took the now trademark logo and built on it by embedding the logo into the watch faces. The logo is now on clothes and outdoor gear that Victorinox advertises on TV, online and through print ads. Estimated sales for Victorinox in 2005 were $337.1 million.

TAG Heuer Grand Carrera watch.
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera watch. | Source

TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer recently altered marketing strategies for its luxury products given slumping economies worldwide. To stay competitive, the company introduced less expensive watch collections and styles to appeal to budgeting consumers.

TAG’s online and offline marketing strategies focus on the affordable nature of the high quality goods. The company conveys this message in watch ads on the company website and in magazines.

In 2008, the company replaced Brad Pitt with Leonardo DiCaprio for its celebrity marketing campaign “The Knights of Modern Time”. Actor DiCaprio backs environmental causes, which TAG Heuer deems are important to customers in hard economic times. DiCaprio wears the watches in advertisements on TAG Heuer’s website and in print ads; he is the official company ambassador.

All three companies have Swiss ties and all three companies are commendable for their successful marketing strategies.


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    • CrazedNovelist profile image

      A.E. Williams 4 years ago from Hampton, GA

      Very interesting...!

    • KenWu profile image

      KenWu 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Marketing is the core of any business. I'm always impress with people that are genius in the marketing field. They would always come out with ideas and plan that normal folks won't figure out. Great hub, I love it.

      Up, Useful, Awesome, Interesting & Beautiful.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Great comments here everyone! Love the enthusiasm you show for the marketing successes of these companies. In particular I enjoyed learning about the swiss army knives and strategies that prove to strengthen brands. Have a great day!

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Very interesting. It is truly amazing how marketing can either be very effective or a dud. Of course, there is the in between too, but when it is as effective as the co. that you mention here...well, that is sheer brilliance.


    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Christy - Very interesting write! I remember when the Swiss Army knives actually talked of being produced by the Swiss government and supplied to all Swiss Army corps. Truth in advertising, for sure. lol Have heard of the watches, but always liked those of several competitors that were also Swiss made. I've worn one now for over ten years and it's still as accurate as the day I got it. Really amazing. Loved the info! Great Job!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

      good examples, christy. timing and effort matters the most.

      voted up as interesting.

      loved reading about these wonderful companies and their strategies.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 5 years ago

      We can do anything if we put ourselves to the task and time it all right :) great hub!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      This is great marketing. Even though it is a luxury item, Tag Huer has made a remarkable move in meeting the demands during an economic downturn. I do like their pick of Leonardo. He seems to be active in sustainable business practice. Good information to hear.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      It amazes me the amount of money these companies spend on marketing, but it pays off!

      Very interesting Hub. I voted it UP, etc.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Christy.. these are great examples of success stories, adaptability to market needs and clever marketing by standing out from the competition. You have really captured the USP of these companies ... good read!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I am so out of it, Christy! I have never heard of any of these, although of course I knew of the swiss army knives....just not the company. Interesting information as always! Using the Swiss logo on the knives was quite clever!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 5 years ago from New York, New York

      Thanks for sharing these companies success stories here. I do know of these brands, but not all the marketing strategies so truly enjoyed reading about them right here. HAve of course voted and shared all over too!!

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Hehe Sunshine, I think we're well on our way! Watch out :)

      Carol, Merci Beaucoup :) Good luck with your French class and thanks for the thoughtful comment.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Well heck, if these companies could be a success so could we! Bring it! :)

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I always enjoy hearing these spectacular success stories. Someone gets an idea and voila ..beaucoup bucks. Forgive me I am taking French classes. I have had a few ideas but they never turned into big bucks...but it could happen any time. There is always room for a new genius with a master idea. So lets think about it and do it. Great hub...Voted UP