3 Successful Marketing Strategies with Swiss Roots
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!
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 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 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.