Using the power of the brand
to advance great companies

In today’s world of constant change, companies enjoy greater success when the brand becomes the central focus of their strategic thinking and operations. Brand leadership is based on this conviction and is our understanding of brand-oriented management.

Management teams with a brand-oriented approach take the right decisions - even during uncertain times - which pay dividends in the long run. They provide meaning, take their employees along on the path into the future and make them into active standard bearers for the ambitions of the company – in all divisions and across all value-adding stages.

Altogether they generate a new level of agility and determination. They create the momentum necessary in today’s market environment for a company to move in the direction it chooses, based on its own strengths, and to continue successfully along this path in the future.

The Brand Leadership Circle aspires to establish all facets of brand orientation in the market and bring about a fundamental change in the management of companies.

Circle of Competence

The Brand Leadership Circle is an association for brand-oriented business transformation. Over 150 specialists pool their competences in a new approach. Together they support their customers in building great, unique companies.

These days exceptional businesses, which enjoy above-average and long-term success, are best achieved through intelligent interplay between many, highly diverse specialists. The constellation of the Brand Leadership Circle is based on this conviction. The focus is placed on building up leading specialists in a wide variety of relevant areas of competence and then, depending on the project definition, deploying them effectively in active collaboration with each other and with clients and partners.

The Brand Leadership Circle specialists are all entrepreneurial and autonomous in their own fields. Following the principle of «Excellence through Specialization», they dedicate themselves to their own clients and hope to take a leading role in their specialist area. They network whenever possible, taking optimal advantage of the interdisciplinary opportunities of this constellation. This lively association of specialists and competences is the source of the strength of the Circle and its uniqueness.

The Brand Leadership Circle maintains intensive relationships with opinion leaders in both business and academic communities, it initiates research projects, and with its brand-oriented management approach it builds its own brands, such as the Swiss manufacturer Hieronymus, which gives a new definition to personal paper and writing culture in contemporary style of the highest quality.


Strength for the future in strategy, appearance and culture. Relevance in services, content and interactions. Intelligence and performance in marketing and operations. These are the main fields of activity of the Brand Leadership Circle companies.

The Brand Leadership Circle companies offer their clients an integrated range of services from consulting to implementation. The result is overall solutions of the highest quality - tailored to individual needs - which are reliable and long-lasting.

Your employees are provided with highly reputable platforms where they can exchange views with like-minded colleagues and also develop their competences, interests and skills to the best possible advantage.

Strength for the future in strategy, presence and culture

Hotz Brand Consultants is a consulting firm for strategic brand development. We mobilise the entrepreneurial potential of the brand and realise substantial steps forward in companies' self-image, presence and culture.

Brand Strategy
Defining the future of the business
Brand Design
Creating a window to the future
Brand-driven Change
Effectively implementing strategic initiatives
Internal Engagement
Making employees into standard-bearers
Employer Branding
Attracting the right employees
To the Hotz Brand Consultants website

Relevance in performance, content and experience

Calydo is a marketing and communications consultant. We systematically shape customer and stakeholder relationships from the perspective of the target group and provide effective concepts and methods to help businesses increase the relevance of their portfolios, messages and experiences.

Customer Experience
Creating experiences which inspire
Product and Service Marketing
Reaching, moving and attracting people
B2B Marketing
Winning over professional decision-makers
Corporate Communications
Sustainably strengthening reputations
Conveying content effectively
Community Management
Maintaining a close dialogue with stakeholders
To the Calydo website

Intelligence and performance in marketing and operations

GateB is a consulting firm for marketing performance. Using evidence-based methods, we deliver decision bases for effective and efficient marketing. And by using leading software solutions, we make it possible to automatically coordinate campaigns and content across all channels.

Customer Intelligence
Generating and using customer intelligence
Marketing Analytics
Making Big Data usable for business activities
Campaign Management
Addressing target groups in a focused and efficient way
Marketing Resource Management
Orchestrating budgets, assets, deadlines and technology
Multichannel Publishing
Communicating content across all channels in joined-up way
To the gateB website

Management Team

The Management Team is the engine of the Brand Leadership Circle. It represents the leading managers, encourages the transfer of knowledge on the subject of brand-oriented leadership, and promotes further development of the Circle from the front line.

  • Fabian Hotz
    VR-Präsident, BLC
    T +41 41 748 44 54

  • Daniel Meier
    CEO, BLC
    T +41 41 748 44 80

  • Patrick Lippuner
    CFO, BLC
    T +41 41 748 44 15

  • André Ryf
    COO, BLC
    T +41 41 748 64 95

  • Andreas Seiler
    Director Implementation, GateB
    T +41 41 748 44 65

  • Andreas Wirth
    Account Director, GateB
    T +41 41 748 64 37

  • Bastian Schneider
    Strategy Director, HBC
    T +41 41 748 64 22

  • Bettina Schoch
    Director Consulting, Calydo
    T +41 41 748 44 14

  • Chris Steinacker
    Managing Director, HBC
    T +41 41 748 64 15

  • Lukas Hotz
    Director Digital & Motion, Calydo
    T +41 41 748 44 68

  • Marco Wyler
    Director MRM, GateB
    T +41 41 748 44 18

  • Markus Almer
    Director Business Development, GateB USA
    T +1 310 526 82 67

  • Michael Zehnder
    Director Marketing Analytics & Customer Intelligence, GateB
    T +41 41 748 44 12

  • Mirella Greber
    Director HR, BLC
    T +41 41 748 44 24

  • Olaf Gijseman
    Managing Director, GateB
    T +41 41 748 44 72

  • Patrick Ensslin
    Creative Director, HBC
    T +41 41 748 44 59

  • Rahel Steppacher
    Director Business Development, Hieronymus
    T +41 41 748 44 66

  • René Affolter
    Director Business Development, GateB
    T +41 41 748 64 16

  • Robert Schumacher
    Director New Business Development, GateB
    T +41 41 748 44 86

  • Samir Ganouchi
    Managing Director, Victor Hotz
    T +41 41 748 44 64

  • Sonja Schnass
    Director Product Management, Hieronymus
    T +41 41 748 44 98

  • Stefan Zimmermann
    Director Business Development, GateB
    T +41 41 748 64 02

  • Thorsten Traber
    Creative Director, Hieronymus
    T +41 41 748 44 87

  • Uli Meier
    Director Multichannel Publishing, GateB
    T +41 41 748 64 60


Home of the Brand Leadership Circle and setting for its further development is the Brand Leadership Building in Steinhausen/Zug. All BLC companies are headquartered here.

The Brand Leadership Building is a fully integrated open office building, enabling a new dimension of interactive working. More than 150 specialists, with a maximum of diversity, combine their competences and form a unique think tank for brand-oriented leadership, in an ongoing process of exchanging and developing ideas, experience and knowledge.


With over 150 employees and on average 70 projects running at any one time, there is plenty happening every day at the Brand Leadership Circle. Here are some examples:

June 2016 Wüest & Partner staff day

Conveying the brand to employees. Nothing’s better for this then getting the knowledge directly from the experts. Therefore Wüest & Partner held its staff day in the Brand Leadership Building, where we prepared a journey through the world of their brand.

Using games and small workshops, 120 employees dealt with the brand identity, the competitioners, the target group, the success drivers and the portfolio of Wüest & Partner.

At the end of the station circuit the staff enjoyed the evening with a DJ and cocktails.

June 2016 Sports Challenge BLC vs. Wüest & Partner

We are working with passion: for our customers and their projects. We regard them as partners and we are pushing each other to top performances. Where can this be proved any better than in a sports event? So the entire BLC has challenged his common customer Wüest & Partner to a competition. We ended in a draw, but started a friendship.

Sports Challenge BLC vs. Wüest & Partner

June 2016 Backstage-Event #5 with Helsana Versicherungen: How can we develop our brand boldly yet with confidence?

Innovative competitors, changing customer requirements, new touchpoints. Brands need constant, resolute development. If they are to remain relevant and successful. If they are to avoid some other brand edging in between you and your customers. But how does a company know in which direction to develop its brand? The possibilities are almost endless. And even when that point is clear: how do we actually achieve the desired development? Which success factors are significant and which challenges will we face?

The Backstage Event with Helsana Versicherungen AG on August 30, 2016 is devoted to the fascinating subject of brand evolution. Based on many years of experience and using a powerful example, we will show you tried and tested methods and solutions for the successful development of brands in the future.

Learn more

June 2016 GateB at Richemond Marketing Forum 2016

June 2016 Bastian Schneider as Keynote-Speaker at SuisseEMEX

On August 30, 2016 Strategy Director Bastian Schneider will give a speach on brand-oriented business development at this years`s SuisseEMEX, the largest and most important trade fair for Marketing and Communication in Switzerland with approx. 15 000 participants.

Go to SuisseEMEX

June 2016 GateB am SAS Forum Switzerland 2015

April 2016 Backstage Event #4 with McDonald's Switzerland: How to surf successfully on the digital tsunami?

April 2016 GateB Event: Marketing Performance - Big Data in Marketing

March 2016 White Paper on Employee Engagement: How can we take our employees along with us into the future?

March 2016 Calydo is born: The new power behind relevance in offering, content and interaction

March 2016 S'Tännli Cup 2016: Ein riesen Spass mit klaren Gewinnern

As happens almost every year, the EVZ (Zug Ice Hockey Club) made an early exit from the playoffs, in order to make room for the annual highlight of the Swiss ice hockey scene: the Brand Leadership Circle s'Tännli Cup. On Monday the finalists - to everyone's great surprise - were the Ice Princesses and AF14. While AF14 had lost several key players during the year, the Ice Princesses had managed, with the aid of just a few - but very high-quality - transfers, to strengthen their team significantly. The balance of power was instantly noticeable on the ice so that the Ice Princesses were already leading 4:0 after the first period. Even a concerted effort by AF14 in the second period with 3 goals in succession did not unnerve the Ice Princesses and they sorted out their brief dip in form with more goals to lead 6:3 after two periods. In the last period of play, AF14 tried to compensate their inferior play with physical strength, resulting in a tougher stance, fierce checks and even minor brawls. This did not have much impact on the course of play, though: the Ice Princesses won the match decisively by 9:5 and are now the proud holders for a whole year of what is arguably the finest trophy in the sport of ice hockey.

S'Tännli Cup 2016

February 2016 GateB: Connect Hearing becomes new client

Connect Hearing, part of the Sonova Group and sister company of Phonak, will implement the BrandMaker Marketing Planner, to simplify and standardize planning in the various national affiliates. In a first phase, BrandMaker will be rolled out in Germany with the intention of including further countries in the system at a later date.

Learn more

February 2016 Backstage Event #3 with Swiss Post AG: How do we take our employees along with us into the future?

January 2016 First trial steps: Calydo takes shape

The name has been decided upon and initial visualizations are taking shape. Before a definite announcement is made and Calydo is presented, though, the Calydos are working frantically to ensure that everything is perfect. To be continued...

November 2015 GateB secures collaboration with SBB

In future, the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) will handle all their standardized advertising material (flyers, posters, brochures, etc.) with the BrandMaker System from GateB. All SBB employees, from communication specialists to station managers, will be able to adapt the desired materials within the CI/CD guidelines very easily and without the need for an agency.

Learn more

November 2015 Highlight in collaboration with elipsLife: The future Calydo units create a viral clip for elipsLife - in difficult conditions on the Titlis!

Oktober 2015 GateB Webinar on brand consistency with American Marketing Association

Oktober 2015 Article on subject of brand positioning: What makes your company one-of-a-kind?

September 2015 Impact in the digital age: Bastian Schneider as speaker at the renowned CMO Conference

September 2015 GateB Event on subject of Brand & Marketing Portal. The Gateway to successful Marketing

September 2015 Hotz Brand Consultants acquires Swisscom, Publisuisse and Ringier JV as client

August 2015 Backstage Event #2 with KJUS and SVC: What drives strong brands to success?

July 2015 Hotz Brand Consultants: Successful conclusion of strategy development with Wüest & Partner at Schloss Hünigen

June 2015 Brand Leadership Day: A full day's event to reinforce intercompany collaboration

June 2015 GateB becomes partner of Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is the global organization for upmarket hotels worldwide. The group includes nine characteristic lifestyle brands like Sheraton, le Meridien, 4 Points, St. Regis, etc. and employs 180,000 people. After a protracted sales phase the moment has finally arrived, and next week is the kick-off for the complete implementation of a marketing and brand portal at Starwood in New York.

With this unique brand and marketing portal, Starwood and their hotels can handle all their marketing and communications activities efficiently, decentralized, and in conformity with their corporate design.

In order to implement this project successfully, we will be working together across the disciplines, will have employees at the location, and will implement the project hand in hand with the Americans. Project managers are Andreas Wirth, Sarah Iskander and Mario Ammann.

May 2015 GateB Event: Big Data in Marketing

This year's event on April 26, 2016 at Four Points Sihlcity in Zürich is on the subject of «Smart Data in Marketing». In the new world of digitization, it is not just a question of transferring traditional material from analogue to digital. The changes are much greater, but so are the opportunities! A glance at our agenda will show you how companies are approaching this challenge.

For example, new insights can be gained by combining various data sources, a promise that Big Data can definitely keep. This is shown in the presentation by Marco Dalla Valle, Vice President, Credit Suisse, in the area of Web Analysis.

However, the challenge of digitization goes much further and also opens up new business areas. Like the new company TELL, consisting of Swisscom, SRG and Ringier, who want to take advantage of the new opportunities offered in the digital world, shown in the contribution by Martin Schneider, designated CEO at TELL (JV project of Swisscom, SRG and Ringier) and current CEO of Publisuisse.

May 2015 Second BrandMaker User Conference on May 19 & 20 in Cologne

Discover at this year's User Conference from numerous companies and end-users how marketing activities can be managed efficiently. High-profile speakers give information about current trends in the marketing technology sector and several workshops allow active participation on topics such as “Local Area Marketing” or “Asset Management”.

May 2015 GateB at SAS Forum Switzerland 2015

The SAS Forum Switzerland 2015 takes place on May 12 at the Marriott Hotel in Zürich. The Forum shows how new approaches related to business analytics can become a competitive factor for users.


Since 2008, branch and other specialists have been seeking and finding ideas and inspiration at the SAS Forum Switzerland in order to blaze new trails with business analytics and business intelligence. A community which sets trends meets in discussion with approx. 350 participants and experts.

The mixture of best practice examples and visions will again be at the forefront of the 7th SAS Forum and shape the structure and programme of the conference. Registration and further information on SAS Forum Switzerland 2015.

May 2015 Backstage Event #1 with Coca-Cola HBC Switzerland: How to win the war for talent

May 2015 Open House: Inspiring conversations with our clients, partners and friends

April 2015 Hotz Brand Consultants acquires Bühler as client

March 2015 S'Tännli Cup 2015: Passionate spectacle in slow motion

The S'Tännli Cup 2015 with the ice hockey cracks of the Brand Leadership Circle was again richly blessed with tough fights and entertaining capers. The fans in the Bosshard Arena, Zug, enjoyed a classy spectacle in slow motion - with two dozen goals, after all. The match was extremely evenly balanced for a long time, until finally the somewhat greater talents of the Greens (gateB, Victor Hotz, Screen Concept) overcame the rather more amusing playing style of the Violets (Mondays, HBC, Shared Services, Sensorial) and won by 13:11.

February 2015 GateB rated as “one of the 20 most promising SAS solutions providers” in the USA

November 2015 Hieronymus: Flagship Store opens in Zürich


Visit us at the Brand Leadership Building and discover more about brand leadership – our approach for successful company management in times of great change.

Sennweidstrasse 35
CH-6312 Steinhausen
T +41 41 748 44 00
F +41 41 748 44 45

Directions by public transport

S5 from Zug or direct from Zürich to Steinhausen station, then approx. 5 minutes on foot.


Parking is available at the Brand Leadership Building in front of the main entrance. If there are any questions, or if you wish to be collected at Steinhausen station, please call us.