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Customer Interview with Reto Sidler from Greater Zurich Area

Reto Sidler

is Head of Communications and Marketing at Greater Zurich Area. Greater Zurich Area consists of 9 cantons in German- and Italian-speaking Switzerland, each of which brings specific technological competencies to the economic area. With the stability and reliability of Switzerland, Greater Zurich Area provides a business-friendly environment for internationally active and expanding companies. We spoke to Reto Sidler about his experiences with Brandification.

Reto, thank you for taking the time today to answer a few questions about your use of Brandification! What is the importance of internal branding for a location brand like Greater Zurich Area?

The vision of the Greater Zurich Area corporation is to create added value for the economic region of Zurich and Switzerland by attracting forward-thinking companies from abroad. Only if we succeed in anchoring the positioning of the economic area internally can we also project it uniformly to the world. So internal branding is of course extremely important.

What are the specific challenges for Greater Zurich Area when it comes to brand?

The biggest challenge is probably that the Greater Zurich Area is very heterogeneous – it consists of 9 cantons in German- and Italian-speaking Switzerland, which are very different in terms of economic structure, but also linguistically and culturally. Uniting this diversity under one brand is naturally challenging. We have therefore agreed on a positioning that is right for the entire region and that is attractive in the international competition for locations: concentrated technology excellence in Europe’s most stable environment. It is also important that we do not force this supra-regional brand on the individual cities and cantons – we motivate them to strengthen their own positioning and relate it to Greater Zurich Area.

What role does digitalisation play in this area?

Digitalisation is absolutely crucial for success. It was already important before COVID, but when no more travel was possible in the spring, no more meetings, no more trade fairs and events took place – that automatically triggered an additional digitalisation push. Today, our daily business consists of virtual meetings, roundtables, webinars, virtual trade fair stands, etc. We also do paid campaigns for digital lead generation, for example on LinkedIn or Google, and we use tools like the Brandification to improve brand work.

What are your goals and core benefits with Brandification and how do you use the Brandification tools?

We have set ourselves three goals with Brandification:

1. We want to strengthen the coherence of our brand across all touchpoints.

2. We want to make people aware of previously neglected touchpoints – everyone should realise that brand is more than just communication and marketing. That there are actually a lot of ways to express the brand in sales, in the back office, in every area. 

3. We want to strengthen the cooperation in our global team of Greater Zurich Area with 9 cantons that are part of it. We want to learn together, inspire each other and become better together. 

What conclusion would you draw after the first 3 months? What has changed through the use of Brandification?

I am very satisfied so far. The app has been very well received and is being used quite actively. So far, a number of very different brand touchpoints have been uploaded: from the area of communication, but also from events, office spaces to a new campus of the University of Applied Sciences, so really the full range. Colleagues also interact with each other in the app, giving each other likes and commenting with suggestions for improvement. What I also find extremely important is that we have started to work with the individual touchpoints, to keep improving them, to keep trimming them “on-brand”. The MS Teams background is a good example – a month ago you would have seen my untidy home office here. Now you see the logo, the blue and our brand slogan, which refers to the positioning.

Who would you recommend Brandification to?

All companies who want to work actively with the brand, who are looking for a tool that is very easy to use, with which they can turn their employees into brand ambassadors and motivate them.

How would you describe Brandification in three words?

Simple, reliable and fun!

Thank you very much Reto for being with us today and all the best for you and Greater Zurich Area!

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