.trust Switzerland non-listed 2018-2019

The debut Swiss edition of .trust examined 35 of Switzerland’s largest private, state-owned and family-run businesses.

Each company’s ability to generate trust in stakeholders and to support the business through communications was assessed by examining their website, corporate social media channels and related Wikipedia article.

The evaluation measured companies on two fundamental aspects: Substance (assesses whether the company communicates transparently on topics that matter to stakeholders) and Distinctiveness (assesses the user experience, how the company presents its content and if it manages to convey its corporate narrative effectively).

Read more on how the .trust research works

Key numbers

35 companies evaluated
100 maximum score
2 pillars and
9 sections in evaluation protocol

The results of the first edition of our research are encouraging because they show that Swiss non listed companies are investing in digital communications as a lever for their competitiveness.

Our goal is for .trust to become a guide for companies choosing to use digital not as a way to present a glossy image but as a communications tool to support the business.

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance:

Contact Martina Scapin for an offer: martina.scapin@lundquist.it

Key Findings

Inspiring Trust through Transparency

Expectations towards businesses from the public and corporate stakeholders continues to rise and the trend shows no signs of abating.

Encouragingly, most non-listed companies in Switzerland are presenting content that meets basic stakeholder needs: 77% of the firms evaluated passed our minimum threshold of 40% of the requirements in the Substance pillar to qualify for the next stage of the research, leaving only 8 companies that did not show a minimum level of disclosure.

When compared to the Italian market, which includes several well-known “Made in Italy” brands, the results become even more striking. There, almost double the companies failed to pass to the next level (41% of the 81 companies considered).

Strengths and weaknesses

Inspiring Trust through Leadership 

It’s tough to capture people’s attention with a static, impersonal presentation. Despite this, many companies leave their corporate websites to gather dust and stuck in a set moment in time, demonstrating an inability (or is it unwillingness?) to evolve and open themselves up to the outside world.

Few of the non-listed companies we examined have a strong culture of transparency when it comes to presenting their business plan. While we might expect caution from smaller companies with less visibility, it is surprising that even the larger non-listed companies, active not only in Switzerland but also globally, prefer to keep their future vision and business strategy under wraps, rather than weaving it into their corporate narrative.

Strengths and weaknesses

Inspiring Trust through Storytelling

Stories, articles, videos and blogs: these are just some of the ways companies today are looking to go beyond traditional disclosure in their communications.

As the possibilities grow, we at Lundquist ask ourselves: how can storytelling contribute to a relationship of trust with users and stakeholders? How can stories and articles effectively contribute to projecting the distinctive elements of a company?

Considering we looked at a sample of non-listed companies, it is encouraging to see that well over two-thirds of the Swiss firms that we evaluated for this part of the ranking invest in stories, articles, blogs and other narrative content. This suggests that Swiss companies are seeing the benefit of moving beyond traditional disclosure and engaging in new means to communicate their business.

What topics are most commonly used in stories and articles?

  1. Trends and context
  2. Products/services and business activities
  3. Sponsorships, charity and community
  4. Careers
  5. Sustainability

HOW DO THE COMPANIES STACK UP?

Read more about the four communicator types

The Explainers

The explainers are strong on meeting disclosure needs: they are upfront and transparent with their stakeholders when it comes to presenting the company and reaching out to clients. Engaging effectively with their audiences remains an issue, with facts and data taking the place of emotional connection.

The Narrators

Just over half of the companies that qualified for our Distinctiveness evaluation find themselves in this category. With a well-communicated corporate identity, these companies also maintain a strong presence in social media, providing informative and engaging content to stakeholders. Areas for improvement include offering a clear presentation of their strategic vision and presenting effective and engaging stories.

The Traditionalists

The companies included in this category provide the bare minimum to their stakeholders, lacking open channels of communication and doing little to engage their audiences. Content and messages stick to traditional disclosure and do not covey a distinctive corporate identity.

The Glitterati

Relatively few companies fall into this category. They perform well when it comes to offering a positive user experience but have difficulty in presenting an effective corporate narrative and strategic vision of the company.

.trust Austria non-listed 2018-2019

Published in Horizont, the debut Austrian edition of .trust examined 30 state-, family-owned and privately held companies.

Each company’s ability to generate trust in stakeholders and to support the business through communications was assessed by examining their website, corporate social media channels and related Wikipedia article.

The evaluation measured them on two fundamental aspects: Substance (the key information needed to answer users’ questions about the business) and Distinctiveness (how users are engaged in digital channels).

Read more on how the .trust research works

Key numbers

30 companies evaluated
100 maximum score
2 pillars and
9 sections in evaluation protocol

The results of the first edition of our research are mixed. They show us that many companies are investing in digital communication while other are still lacking basic disclosure information.

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance:

Contact Caroline Becker for an offer: caroline.becker@lundquist.it

Key Findings

Trust and Transparency

Slightly more than half of the non-listed companies we evaluated in Austria present content meeting basic stakeholder needs: we consider 40% fulfillment of the criteria in the Substance pillar to be the minimum threshold companies must reach in order to meet basic stakeholder needs and qualify for the next stage of the research. Of the companies evaluated, 14 did not provide the minimum level of disclosure.

Overall, Austrian companies score well when it comes to disclosing “about us” information and integrating brand information into the corporate website. They seem to struggle to find their stride when it comes to  sustainability communications, with 20% of companies providing zero information information, among them international brand Red Bull and state-owned Austrian Development Agency.

Strengths and weaknesses

The Role of Leadership in Creating Trust

Few of the non-listed companies we examined have a strong culture of transparency when it comes to presenting their business plan. While we might expect smaller companies to be more cautious in giving visibility to this information, it is surprising that even the larger non-listed companies, active not only in Austria but also globally, seem to prefer to keep their vision for the future of the company and the business strategy under wraps, rather than weaving it into their corporate narrative to construct and support the corporate identity.

Our research suggests that companies leave the commercial side of the business – brands, products and services – to speak for them, rather than constructing a cohesive and engaging corporate narrative (or integrating brand and corporate), leaving stakeholders wondering what the company might have planned for its future. Only a handful of the Austrian non-listed companies we examined actually explain their business strategies though none support the strategy presentation by including specific, concrete goals.

Weaknesses

trust-AT-percentuali-2

Trust in Stories

It is encouraging to see that nearly two-thirds of the Austrian firms that we evaluated for Distinctiveness are investing in stories, articles, blogs and other narrative content. This suggests that Austrian companies understand the benefit of moving beyond  traditional disclosure and are attempting new means of communicating their business. Of the 16 companies considered, 63% use case studies or stories to describe projects and initiatives and communicate their activities, while 44% engage in storytelling via articles, blogs and magazines.

Stories represent a link between the commercial and corporate world and for this reason, it’s important that Austrian non-listed companies are able to ensure that content is accessible and easy to find for different kinds of stakeholders. They seem to have caught on to this, as the navigation and access to information section was the highest-scoring section of the research, at 82%.

What topics are most commonly used in stories and articles?

  1. Business activities, services and products
  2. Trends and business context
  3. Innovation & research
  4. Employees and careers

HOW DO THE COMPANIES STACK UP?

Read more about the four communicator types

The Explainers

The explainers are strong on meeting disclosure needs: they are upfront and transparent with their stakeholders when it comes to presenting the company and reaching out to clients. Engaging effectively with their audiences remains an issue, with facts and data taking the place of emotional connection.

The Narrators

Just over half of the companies that qualified for our Distinctiveness evaluation find themselves in this category. With a well-communicated corporate identity, these companies also maintain a strong presence in social media, providing informative and engaging content to stakeholders. Areas for improvement include offering a clear presentation of their strategic vision and presenting effective and engaging stories.

The Traditionalists

The companies included in this category provide the bare minimum to their stakeholders, lacking open channels of communication and doing little to engage their audiences. Content and messages stick to traditional disclosure and do not covey a distinctive corporate identity.

The Glitterati

Relatively few companies fall into this category. They perform well when it comes to offering a positive user experience but have difficulty in presenting an effective corporate narrative and strategic vision of the company.

.trust Italy non-listed 2018-2019

Published in Forbes and  Italian weekly L’Economia de Il Corriere della Sera, the debut Italian edition of .trust examined 81 state- and family-owned companies and privately held food, fashion and luxury brands.

Each company’s ability to generate trust in stakeholders and to support the business through communications was assessed by examining their website, corporate social media channels and related Wikipedia article.

The evaluation measured them on two fundamental aspects: Substance (the key information needed to answer users’ questions about the business) and Distinctiveness (how users are engaged in digital channels).

Read more on how the .trust research works

Key numbers

81 companies evaluated
100 maximum score
2 pillars and
9 sections in evaluation protocol

The results of the first edition of our research are encouraging. They show us that many companies are investing in digital communication to support their competitiveness.

Order a tailored analysis of your company’s performance:

Contact Caroline Becker for an offer: caroline.becker@lundquist.it

Key Findings

Trust and Transparency

Credibility starts with substance: in light of the heightened expectations stakeholders place on companies, fast facts and key numbers have become must-haves whether companies are listed or not.

Too many non-listed companies have difficulty publishing information about themselves, especially in terms of sustainability and careers: 41% of the sample didn’t provide enough Substance to qualify for the rest of the evaluation. State-owned, industrial and financial companies tended to do much better than fashion brands.

Strengths and weaknesses

The Role of Leadership in Creating Trust

Presenting the people leading a business is key in building credibility and protecting reputation. The business strategy that they are responsible for should also guide the approach to communications.

Given they are not under the same spotlight as their listed counterparts in terms of convincing the financial markets, non-listed companies tend not to showcase their management or be transparent about their business strategy. They perform better on topics like innovation and investments.

Strengths and weaknesses

Trust in Stories

Stories, articles, projects, videos and blogs: there are many different types of content at hand to take communications beyond dry disclosure. The possibilities and opportunities for engagement are numerous, but in order to do so, storytelling must work for the business.

Many companies are investing in narrative content: just over half of the companies analysed in the Distinctiveness pillar describe case studies, projects and initiatives while about one in four publish stories, viewpoints and articles on a range of topics.

What topics are most commonly used in stories and articles?

  1. Business activities, services and products
  2. Sustainability
  3. Innovation & research
  4. Employees and careers

HOW DO THE COMPANIES STACK UP?

Read more about the four communicator types

The Explainers

About a quarter of our Italian non-listed sample find themselves in this quadrant, most commonly B2B and industrial companies. A couple made it into the top 10 but none of them got a very high score for content and transparency (i.e. over 70% on Substance). While the company presentation is often well articulated, information regarding sustainability and careers need improvement.

The Narrators

There are few companies that make it into this quadrant, notably the top 8 companies in the ranking. They excel when it comes to Substance, and perform above average in Distinctiveness. However, the challenge these companies face now is to boost their positioning by finding engaging ways to present their stories and project a strategic vision.

The Traditionalists

This is the most populated category in our research: the companies that fall in this category are those that do not provide the enough of the basic content stakeholders expect to see.

The Glitterati

There are relatively few companies that fall into this category, mostly due to a lack of digital culture among non-listed companies. There are a few cases of good storytelling but with little attention to more traditional corporate content.