A hidden champion with a clear purpose and a strong brand history
The starting point
Optiswiss is the Swiss market leader in the manufacture of high-quality eyeglass lenses. The company, headquartered at the Dreispitz site in Basel, is part of a highly competitive market. For many years, it has held its own among big industry players such as Essilor, Zeiss, and many competitors within the region. A critical look, however, reveals that Optiswiss is in need of a defined market position and lacks a clear internal vision. A lot of potential is lost here, in terms of navigating (new) markets and customers and in terms of internal identification and the acquisition of new talent.
Optiswiss management decided on the goal of improving their market position by working off of its strengths. Meeting this goal should not only target the market position in Switzerland, but should also set the foundation for successful expansion into the markets of other countries. The basis for this is formed by a deep understanding of customers and their needs. The development of a clear vision and the “purpose” of Optiswiss should also strengthen its internal identity at the same time. Two components to be incorporated are actively involving the employees in the process and approaching the challenges of the future with clarity and motivation.
Independent opticians constitute Optiswiss’ primary target group. Their needs and requirements formed the starting point of the project. The employees are also a critical part of implementation. The project accomplished bridging the gap between capturing the customer’s perspective and embedding it into the Optiswiss workforce. We approached it in three phases:
Gaining understanding of an optician’s world and getting their requirements to permeate Optiswiss
We employed ethnographic methodology to conduct qualitative interviews with opticians in the core markets of Switzerland, Germany, and France. The objective was to understand what issues the target group deals with in their everyday business, what their idea of a successful collaboration with a lens supplier looks like, and what they specifically require of Optiswiss.
Capturing the strengths of Optiswiss
There were two objectives in interviewing employees from different departments and across all levels. First, we wanted to understand the “DNA” of Optiswiss and to extract the relevant strengths. Second, we wanted to integrate employees into the process as early as possible to ensure a high degree of involvement and acceptance of the results.
Strengthening the brand position and developing the vision, mission, and purpose
The project involved putting together a continuous story from the vision and mission to the purpose and brand positioning. The substance for this came directly from the interviews. The content was refined in workshops involving Optiswiss management, marketing, and customer service, such that everything could be wrapped up in a substantive “total package” in the end. In doing so, it was also important to link the values from the Swiss heritage of Optiswiss with future-oriented topics such as customer experience and innovation. Particularly important facets are the independence of Optiswiss as well as the fact that it partners closely with opticians.
Entrenching the brand story among employees
Implementing the Optiswiss brand positioning is closely tied to the commitment of the workforce. After all, customers will only pick up on values such as speed and sophistication if employees live them and incorporate them in their day-to-day work. To instill the appreciation required for this in the employees and to gain their active support, a cheerful “brand box” was put together. Included were posters for visualizing the brand values and “brand pocket cards” to make these values known internally, a video to convey the emotions behind them, and a Toblerone for a sweet finishing touch. Interactive brand workshops were conducted in the second phase. They were held late into the evening so that night-shift employees were also involved.
Bringing the brand values to external communications
The new brand values will of course also be implemented in the external marketing and product communications that come from Optiswiss, whether a product campaign, a social media post, or otherwise. bruhnpartner took care of initial communication regarding the new brand positioning with the agency that will take this over. Eyeloveyou was commissioned as the creative agency responsible for implementing the design aspect of the brand values and positioning. This has already been launched in national and international trade press outlets in the form of a visual campaign.
"We have found in the bruhnpartner team a partner who has helped us create several links as part of this project: between the vision, purpose, and brand positioning; between structured analysis and light-hearted implementation; and finally also between the different departments. All of this was absolutely pivotal to the effectiveness and is an important part of setting the course for the future."
Samuel Frei, CEO Optiswiss AG
Drivers of success in this project
- Joint conception of corporate and brand strategy
- Deep dive into the optician ecosystem
- Modern market research in line with the Customer Dominant logic
- A purpose that is anchored in the corporate DNA, not merely in the brand story
- Holistic anchoring of the brand positioning in all functions of the company