I am always wondering and it’s make me eager to see more and more examples of the way the Swiss state is creating its perfect image, in the world’s eyes.
Nothing in the Swiss history is coming easy, so the country image. It is so successful not because of the higher standards they implement to produce this image of a state-as-a-brand or because of some of the best in the world incredible minds are working for the Switzerland only. You will be wrong, too, if you assume it’s because of the money the state is spending for the image purpose. As with every success, there is an own and proven with years recipe and the ‘Switzerland’s Brand is not an exclusion.
Besides the well known fact that the Swiss propaganda machine is working even over the counter as a well-oiled sewing machine, there is the Swiss-only secret ‘süß – sauer’ sauce which made every lunch a success.
The First one, the sweetie part of the sauce is about the using of highly idealized clichés of the mountains, chocolate and watches in every dimensions and shapes which support the creating of a ‘paradise island’ picture, in the middle of the Europe. The result of which you can see all around you, doesn’t matter if you simply put the Switzerland name in any search engine or mention it in any every-day conversation with foreigners. The above cliches are the first ones, coming with some (even hidden) oh-ah-wow’s.
Which could blow your mind ahead when just remember that no one of those (except the mountains) is actually of Swiss origin. But I will return to this point in a special post.
The ‘sauer’ part of the sauce is something that I believe is one of the real Swiss origins and those which deserve your highest attention.
In my opinion, it is the country where the transforming of disadvantages into advantages and the compromises into success personal and professional stories is turned in an Art of doing and of living.
Just one example and you will start to agree with me. Here is how a hard conflicts and scandals, even at the highest level contribute to the improving of the image of the Swiss abroad. A long years story of ever araising conflicts between two state’s bodies finally got out of control and attracted the public attention. The way in which the state resolved the case is of a ‘no comments’ kind of.
The ‘hidden’ notorious intolerance between the staffs of the Diplomatic Services and of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is finally exploded in a ‘Cars Scandal’, this summer(1).
The ‘engine’ of the scandal seems like in the Kindergarten – the one who receive money to use his personal car to fulfill his working obligations is envious to the yellow, because of the another guy who could use a company car for his personal needs -against a charge for.
The scandal’s solution for the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs – to which the both institutions belong, is … to purchase new, high quality (?!) 680 cars for the Diplomatic service!
Which means that from the Swiss people’s money paid for taxes will be spent – or must say will be misuse of money in amount of 44’200’000 CHF ($ 45’901’333 USD or € 41’047’267 EUR)! To better imagine, it is an average of roughly 65’000 CHF ($ 67’502’000 USD or € 60’363’628 EUR) per a single car.
As always in the dirty politic, one scandal usually leads to another and bigger ones and the great play is about how to turn it from a farce into favors – but for those who provoked it only.
In this case, the propaganda machine has produced a brilliant idea. From the single burning scandal there are born the new advertising tool – to be purchased new, high-quality cars and the latest advertising slogan of the Swiss MFA – ‘ To Improve The Swiss Image Abroad’.
And be there for the second round of this story…