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Geberit, Swatch Group, and Richemont Top Reputation Institute's 2018 Switzerland RepTrak® – Switzerland’s Largest Corporate Reputation Study

Companies need to invest more in the quality and depth of relationships with their stakeholders to build and strengthen their reputation

Zurich, May 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In this year's ranking by Reputation Institute of the Swiss Market Index (SMI) companies, Geberit takes first place, just ahead of the Swatch Group. Both companies have a RepTrak® Pulse of over 70 points, which is considered "strong". The third position goes to Richemont, with 69.7 points.


In 2018, almost all companies surveyed worldwide (97%) suffered a decline in their reputation. For Switzerland, on the other hand, Reputation Institute has seen an upward trend over the last five years. The respondents seem to continue to give their trust to companies in Switzerland, even in an increasingly difficult-to-predict world.

According to this year's survey, new recipes are needed to build and strengthen reputation. Pure brand awareness is no longer enough, it needs quality and depth in customer relations. Businesses need to engage with their audiences and have a broad understanding of their role in society — and communicate as much as possible through all available channels.

The 2018 Reputation Ranking of the SMI Companies:

1. Geberit (76.2) 11. Swiss Life (63.2)
2. Swatch Group (75.6) 12. Zurich Insurance (60.9)
3. Richemont (69.7) 13. Nestlé (60.6)
4. Swiss Re (69.0) 14. Julius Bär (56.1)
5. Swisscom (66.5) 15. Adecco (55.5)
6. Givaudan (65.7) 16. Lonza (55.2)
7. Roche (65.3) 17. Novartis (54.6)
8. ABB (64.5) 18. Credit Suisse (52.2)
9. Sika (64.3) 19. LafargeHolcim (50.2)
10. SGS (64.3) 20. UBS (48.9)

Technology Industry Makes Big Leap Forward

Looking at all sectors, "Technology" is the strongest in 2018, 10.3 points above the Swiss average. This is also the industry's biggest leap forward (2017: 7th place). It seems that the sector is successfully positioning itself as an innovation driver of digitization, and is consolidating its communication activities ever better. The Consumer and Food & Beverage sectors rank second and third.

Striking: There are industries in which the difference between the companies is very large or very small. For example, both industry and retail show a gap of more than 31 points between the highest and the lowest value. This is an indicator of how much potential upside the companies are in the bottom of the league — but also how much the leaders can lose. In the pharmaceuticals and services sectors, on the other hand, companies are closer together — a clear indication that they need to think "out of the box" in order to stand out from the competition.

The Depth and Quality of Relationships Is Crucial

The most relevant difference for communication, however, can be found in the comparison of customers versus non-customers. Existing customers give significantly better ratings than non-customers (75.2 points vs. 61.6 points). This leads to the realization that the depth and quality of the relationship, the so-called familiarity with the company, has the greatest relevance for the reputation. The better the respective stakeholders know a company, the better they will score at the reputational values — up to 19 points better. In terms of content, companies have to communicate more and better around the question "Who am I" than about the product ("What do I sell").

It also shows that there is no correlation between awareness and reputation alone. Admittedly, high awareness leads to a more robust reputation and thus lower reputational risks. However, the central insight is that companies need to work on the familiarity of their target groups and intensify engagement with their stakeholders if they want to gain reputation.

Content Has the Highest Impact of Reputation Drivers

Companies need to make sure that they are delivering the right content to the outside world. According to the Reputation Institute, the strongest content-driven reputation drivers in Switzerland across all sectors and regions are "Products / Services" at 21% (the products meet real customer needs, are of high quality and available at a reasonable price), "Governance" at 17% (the company acts ethically, fairly and transparently) and "Citizenship" with 16.4% (the company has a positive influence on the world). Citizenship has thus surpassed "governance" within the Top 3. Leadership emerges in fourth place of the most influential drivers (12.8%), a trend that can be observed globally: CEO and management have an ever greater impact on reputation as a whole. The number 4 from the previous year, "Workplace" is now in last place with 10.7%.

Depending on the industry in which a company operates, the region and the demographics of the stakeholders, the impact of the different drivers on the reputation varies. In the consumer sector, for example, alongside "Products / Services", "Performance" and "Leadership" are on top, while for the pharmaceuticals industry, "Innovation" is one of the three most important drivers of reputation. A content strategy would be wise to know and meet the relevant stakeholder expectations of a particular industry.

Multi-Channel Strategy Leads to Domino Effect

In addition to the content, the channel strategy and the corresponding budget distribution have a big impact on the reputation. A multi-channel strategy, i.e. the use of all channels — Paid, Earned, Owned and Direct — can make up to 20.8 points in reputation measurement. Companies that reach their stakeholders across all four channels are therefore on average 20.8 points better rated.

In today's multi-channel world, it's also critical to capitalize on the multi-channel, domino effect. The use of the channels must be coordinated and strategically planned. For Switzerland, it has become apparent that owned channels have the greatest impact. The paid channels with the largest reach should therefore be used to steer the stakeholders to their own channels. These in turn should emphasize the most relevant core messages so they can be picked up by the paid channels.

The Methodology

The Switzerland RepTrak® is the largest reputation study conducted in Switzerland. In more than 5,500 interviews, the Swiss have been interviewed over the past few months about their approach to selected companies. The overall assessment is based on the "emotional bond" of the general public with the company, which can be expressed in terms of "degree of trust", "admiration", "appreciation" and a "generally good feeling". This global assessment is broken down into the RepTrak® Framework along the top seven reputation drivers:

  • Products/Services
  • Innovation
  • Workplace
  • Governance
  • Citizenship
  • Leadership
  • Performance 

An "excellent" reputation corresponds to a RepTrak® Pulse of 80 or more. A value of 70-79 is considered "strong", 60-69 is rated "average".

The 2018 reputation ranking comprises the companies managed in the SMI. In order to be able to measure industry trends consistently, Reputation Institute also examined (alphabetically) the following companies: Amag, Baloise, Bell, Coop, Denner, Mobiliar, Die Post, Emmi, Feldschlösschen, Groupe Mutuel, IWC Schaffhausen, Lindt & Sprüngli, Logitech , Manor, Migrol, Migros, Omega, PostFinance, Raiffeisen, Rolex, SBB CFF FFS, Schindler, Swiss, Tissot, Triumph, Zürcher Kantonalbank.

Learn More and Get Your Company’s Pulse Score:

On an annual basis, Reputation Institute (RI) measures the reputation of thousands of companies using its RepTrak® framework. Its Global RepTrak® 100 study measures the most highly regarded and familiar multinational companies in 15 countries.

To access the full list of the most reputable companies in Switzerland, please visit:

To hear perspectives from RI experts on key trends, what they mean and how you can leverage RI insights to build and protect reputation capital, view webinars at:

To get your company’s 2018 score and learn how to improve your ranking and grow stakeholder support, just ask us at:


About Reputation Institute

Reputation Institute powers the world’s most reputable companies. By tracking and analyzing stakeholder perceptions, we unleash the power of reputation to enable leaders to build better companies. Our RepTrak® model analyzes the reputations of companies and is best known as the Forbes-published Global RepTrak® 100. Underlying the model is the RepTrak® methodology, the global gold standard for measuring reputation. Learn more at:

Further information For additional information, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @RI_Switzerland.

Michele Tesoro-Tess
Reputation Institute

Kurt Rossi
Farner Consulting
+41 44 266 67 67