A lesson in brand from Swisse

Brand. It’s more than a logo. In fact, it’s the most important asset a business could ever own, according to CEO of the year 2015 finalist, Radek Sali who recently visited MBS to talk strategy with our full-time MBA students.
The passionate and charismatic CEO of Swisse said the health and wellness company’s continuing success is due to premium products that work and a brand that people can understand and connect with. 

“We started from humble beginnings in a little naturopathics shop in Melbourne’s west, and we learnt very quickly how to do more with less and build our brand from the ground up,” he said. 

“We didn’t have a media buying agency or hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on marketing, so we had to use what money we did have to invest in our products and invest in the Swisse brand.”

Supporting this investment was a global strategy to take the Swisse brand beyond Australia and into the homes of millions of people around the world. 

“We have always positioned Swisse as a global company and we’ve been able to enter and thrive in overseas markets by amplifying our retail spend on top healthcare professionals, elite sporting bodies, athletes and celebrity ambassadors who believe in our products and resonate with audiences around the world.”

Melbourne Business School Associate Professor of Strategy Geoff Martin, said the lessons and insights gained from Rakek would stay with MBA students throughout their careers.

“Swisse is a global success story, and Radek Sali has been at the helm of that success and implemented a strategy that continues to stimulate incredible growth for the company.

“It was incredibly motivating for our full-time MBA students to learn from such an influential and down-to-earth CEO like Radek, and I’m sure they will remember the experience and apply it throughout their careers.”
Radek Sali’s tips to creating a successful brand:
  • Invest in the brand through marketing to explain your product to your audience and how you differentiate from your competitors; 
  • Be sure to inject personality into the brand – without an identifiable personality you can’t succeed;
  • Use your talent/ambassadors in a considered way by targeting their audiences. You won’t get any cut through if you place an ad with Ricky Ponting, for example, during an episode of Dancing with the Stars as opposed to a five-day test series; and
  • Remember that the point of purchase is the most important time to win people over. Regardless of what you’ve done to get them into a store, it’s the strength of your brand and the ambassadors who support it that will get them over the line.