You would expect to find a variety of international products in a small country in the middle of Europe. Actually, Switzerland is very diverse in that respect and retailers know exactly how to cater to wealthy shoppers.
But regarding some popular household brands, you might want to pay closer attention!
That is because a number of your staple products have undergone a renaming for the Swiss market, so you will have to re-discover them first... But do not despair if you cannot find your favorite ice-cream at the supermarket - Just ignore the name and pay attention to the logo!
When I first moved to Switzerland, I was quite surprised to find the common brand name OLAY as OLAZ. In this case, I wondered why they would change just one letter... It was then when I started paying attention to the choice of products on the shelves of Swiss stores. You would not believe how many of them have been renamed! Anyway, quoting Romeo: "A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet"!
So, here is my list of brands with their respective names in Spain (and sometimes even other countries) Please help us completing it if you know any others!
If you are looking for these beauty products, do not think you are in front of a fake cream imitating OLAY! It is the real one but typed with a Swiss keyboard (QWERTZ) instead of with a standard QWERTY!
This time, the name in Spain is completely different! The funny thing is that the slogan is exactly the same: "small and powerful". On a related note, the Swiss slogan for MEDIAMARKT is used for SATURN, the competition of MEDIAMARKT, in Spain! Apparently, both chains belong to the same owner who decided to compete against himself!
In the cleaning products aisle, we can also find WC-ENTE ("toilet duck"), known as PATO-WC in my home country:
It seems that they had decided to change the names of some of these brands to try and prevent people from importing them from less expensive countries to more expensive ones (eg. Switzerland). Sometimes, it is a simple translation, though. So maybe you know it as DUCK WC or CANARD WC...
Again, the brand known as DEICHMANN in all of Europe appears as DOSENBACH in Switzerland. This shoe store recently settled in Spain, keeping the name it originally held.
However, reading DOSENBACH is actually easier in Spanish than reading DEICHMANN - huh? I had told my mom about it when I moved here, so I believe she ended up being their first Spanish client attracted by true word-of-mouth advertising!
Now it gets even more complicated: Neither "Frigo" nor "Lusso" are German, but they have a "fresh" and "exciting" sound to it. Either way, I would not want to be product manager of this Unilever brand, because it is one of the most mythical brands ever... Just look at the image below!
This re-branding most likely has to do with the literal meaning of "diet" in German. Since Coca Cola is positioning itself to a wide audience, they would turn off four out of five consumers who have no desire to "diet". However, the more sophisticated sounding label "light" appeals to even the skinniest European!
Do you recognize any of these brands with a different name? You you know any others? Share it with us!
Interestingly, Oil of Olaz was rebranded in the UK from “Oil of Ulay” to align it with the rest of the ‘Olay’ branded products in Europe. Clearly this was not the case, with Switzerland having a different name all together.
Of interest, in the UK we use ‘Flash’ (which is the same as Don Limpio) but there is a similarly named product ‘Mr.Muscle’. The joke used to be that on the advert he was really a weakling but the cleaning product made his work easier!
Thanks for your insights!
You’ve chosen products that have been renamed in many countries, not just Switzerland or Spain. Meister Proper / Don Limpio are simply translations of Mr Clean, the original English name. For instance, in Italy this product is called Mastro Lindo and Monsieur Propre in France – again literal translations, just likeWC Ente (in Italy, this product is called Anatra WC).
As for Diet Coke, I’ve found it named Coca ColaLight in various European countries, not just in Switzerland.
As for the ice cream brand, it’s an Italian company, so the “original” name is the Italian one, Algida. But for some reason it’s been renamed in different countries.
Thanks for your input!