Using the power of the brand
to advance great companies

Brand Leadership

In today’s world of constant change, companies enjoy greater success when they know exactly what they want to stand for – and when they put this knowledge at the core of their strategic thinking and operative development.

Brand-oriented companies use their brand as a meaningful management tool. They take their employees along with them into the future, turn them into flag bearers for their corporate ambitions, and create an organization able to take collective decisions.

All in all, they develop the impetus to take their chosen path in today’s market environment, build up a gravitational force, and open up new fields of activity time and time again.

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.

Circle of Competence


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

Transforming Digital into Value

gateB is a consultancy that empowers national and international companies to tap into the potential of digitalization and to make their customer relations faster, smarter and better.

gateB supports their clients in the following areas:

Customer Intelligence
Generating and implementing client knowledge
Marketing Analytics
Making big data of practical use for business
Campaign Management
Addressing target groups specifically and efficiently
Marketing Operations
Streamlining and automating marketing processes
Multichannel Publishing
Communicating integrated content across all channels
Marketing Automation
Making appropriate use of automation
To the gateB website


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

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

    In the Nineties already, Fabian forced a radical shift of thinking in his father's enterprise and pushed the reorientation of the printing company, transforming it into a group of enterprises for brand-oriented business development. In 2007 he became sole owner of the group, which he positioned at the interface of brand, management and technology, calling it Brand Leadership Circle in 2011. Being an entrepreneur, Fabian has got extensive experience and knowledge in building and transforming companies. Presently, he is founding several companies in the field of paper and writing culture. In addition he is still consulting clients regarding their strategy.

    Career: Chairman of the Board and Owner, Brand Leadership Circle; Chairman of the BLC Board; Managing Director, Hieronymus < CEO, Hotz Group < Managing Director, Hotz Brand Consultants < Brand Designer, Di Plano Design, New York < Apprenticeship as typographer

  • Alex Herrmann

    Alex Herrmann Strategy Director, HBC
    +41 41 748 64 12

    Alex has been living the principle of holistic brand management for 15 years. After his studies, he gained experiences in strategic and operative brand development in Switzerland, Germany, France and the US. On the consulting and agency side Alex has consulted big and small companies and fostered change processes with different teams. As former head of strategy of a renowned Branding Agency, Alex is now responsible for strategy & innovation at Hotz Brand Consultants. He consults clients on all questions concerning brand positioning, brand implementation, and brand visualisation. Alex shares his expertise not only as a consultant, but also as lecturer and docent. He is the director of the CAS-program Brand Management and Communication at the University of Bern and holds a teaching position for the Design Management bachelor’s program at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

  • Andreas Seiler

    Andreas Seiler Director Solution Design, GateB
    +41 41 748 44 65

    Besides getting a degree as an electrical engineer and a Master in Business Administration (MBA Lucerne), Andreas was constantly educating himself further on technological issues. For over ten years he has been working as software developer and project leader. He came to GateB in 2014, where he was heading the Engineering team for three years. Since February 2017 Andreas is Director Solution Design and giving consultancy in designing software and system solutions allowing GateB's clients to create their marketing-relevant data fully automatized; to use them most efficiently in different formats, channels or campaigns; and to measure and visualize the success of their marketing activities with analytical processes. His focus is always on the processes and methods to implement technological requirements with modern software development processes most efficiently and target-oriented.

    Career: Director Solution Design, GateB < Director Implementation, GateB < Master of Advanced Studies in Business Administration (MBA Lucerne), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences < Head Technology and Innovation, Zetavision < Co-Head Technical Direction, Amatic < diverse positions in the field of software development < Bachelor in Electrical Engineering, Lucerne School of Engineering and Architecture

  • Bastian Schneider

    Bastian Schneider Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, BLC
    +41 41 748 64 22

    Bastian is responsible for the strategic development of the brand leadership circle. For more than 15 years, he has been consulting companies in over 40 branches in Switzerland, Germany and Austria in the field of strategic and operational brand management. His main focus is on developing brand-driven strategy, brand analysis and positioning, brand and assortment architecture, concepts for brand mobilisation, employer branding as well as the realisation of brand-oriented transformation processes in complex organisations. Bastian is regularly publishing papers in the field of brand management and is holding lectures at companies, universities and conferences.

    Career: CSO, BLC < Strategy Director, Hotz Brand Consultants < Consultant, Institut für Markentechnik in Geneva < Partner of the company and mangement consultancy NOHETO! in Witten < Studies of economics, University of Witten/Herdecke < Banker, Marcard, Stein & Co, Hamburg.

  • Bettina Schoch

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

    While still studying, Bettina collected first experiences in product and marketing management at Swisscom. She started her career in executive search, before specializing in corporate communication at a renowned PR agency. There she managed integrated communication projects for notable clients like Oerlikon Metco or Visa. At Calydo she was as Director Consulting and Deputy Managing Director responsible for key accounts like Wüest & Partner, Walter Meier and Zug Estates. Since 2017 she ist Managing Director of Calydo, bringing in her vast know-how in consulting, developing content strategies and integral stories in her daily exchange with clients and her team.

    Career: Managing Director, Calydo < Deputy Managing Director, Calydo < Head of Communications, Knobel Corporate Communication < Consultant, BiermannPartners < Studies of media and communication sciences, business administration, University of Freiburg

  • Chris Steinacker

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

    Chris has seen and practiced brand-based management from different angles in his occupational career. He first went to an agency, before switching sides and gaining insights in the sponsor’s side of strategic planning and communication by working for a Fortune 500 enterprise. As Managing Director he brings these experiences into Hotz Brand Consultants. His main focus is on brand management, brand architecture, brand transformation projects, marketing consulting as well as development and management of digital brands.

    Career: Managing Director, HBC < Senior Brand Consultant and Deputy Managing Director, HBC < Assistant Leader Digital Marketing and Senior Project Manager Strategic Projects Online, Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund < Project Manager Strategic Planning Market Cultivation, Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund < Studies of business administration, marketing, controlling, TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences < Consultant, Meyer Waldeck – Society for Communication & Brand Profile < Commercial apprenticeship for marketing communication / Advertising merchant

  • Lukas Hotz

    Lukas Hotz Director of Ventures, BLC
    +41 41 748 44 68

    Even before completing his studies, Lukas set up an agency for the development of mobile applications. He interrupted his MA studies at the University of St. Gallen (HSG) for an indefinite period to launch his second business, a start-up in the second-screen field. With his start-up he was a speaker at various congresses, thus influencing developments in the second-screen area at an international level. After his exit from the start-up, he joined the Brand Leadership Circle as Director of Digital & Motion and played an influential role at Calydo as a member of the Management Board right from the start. Due to his business-minded spirit and his broad media, marketing and technology knowhow, Lukas is engaged on a wide variety of issues. Since his internal transfer to gateB, Lukas has been responsible as Director of Digital Business Development for projects in the area of marketing automation and campaign management. In addition, as Director of Ventures, Lukas is the first port of call for the entire BLC in connection with young companies, at present particularly in the blockchain sector.

    Career: Director of Ventures, BLC < Director of Digital Business Development, gateB < Director of Digital & Motion, Calydo < CEO, Layzapp < General Manager appricot < Trainee Consulting, Sensorial Surroundings < BA in Management & Economics, University of Zürich

  • Marco Wyler

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

    Marco has studied business administration at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), where he also got a Master of Arts in Marketing, Services and Communication Management. After a brief time in corporate finance and M&A consultancy he came to GateB and is since shaping the company's development – from the small spin-off to the leader in marketing performance management. Among his most important activities are consulting and long-term steering of client projects with the aim of improving efficiency, effectivity and automation in marketing. His main focus is in implementation of global branding and marketing portals under consideration of the whole value chain of modern marketing: from client-oriented marketing planning, campaign and media management to publishing processes and added services as flanking measures on the way to automation.

    Career: Director MRM, GateB < Consultant, GateB < Master of Arts in Marketing, Services and Communication Management, University of St. Gallen (HSG) < Trainee Corporate Finance/M&A, PricewaterhouseCoopers < Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, University of St. Gallen (HSG)

  • Olaf Gijseman

    Olaf Gijseman CEO, GateB
    +41 41 748 44 72

    Olaf has got more than 16 years of experience in leadership, consulting and project management in the area of optimizing marketing efficiency and efficacy – for companies in most diverse branches. He came to the Hotz Group in 2001 and initially was heading the media center at the Victor Hotz AG. Due to his passion for technical software solutions, he developed with his team implementation and integration services in the field of publishing and marketing resource management. As this division was rapidly growing, it was outsourced to GateB in 2011 and expanded with marketing analytics and customer intelligence. Since then, Olaf is Managing Director of GateB and leading the companies in Switzerland and Los Angeles.

    Career: CEO, GateB < Managing Director, GateB < Managing Director, Victor Hotz AG < Teamleader PrePress, Victor Hotz AG < Managing Directer, Virtual Media Design GmbH < Business Technician FH (Corporate Management), Private College for Economics < Polygraphic Engineer FH, Professional College for Polygraphics, Communication and Management < Apprenticeship as lithographer

  • Patrick Ensslin

    Patrick Ensslin Brand Experience Director, HBC
    +41 41 748 44 59

    Patrick is a lot of things: a developer of ideas, an inspirer and an implementer. His wide experience and his many qualities as conceptualizer, brand and motion designer, storyteller and brand consultant he brings in at Hotz Brand Consultant. The all-rounder not only has creative but also analytical abilities. Having graduated as a graphic designer, he has been working for our companies in a lot of different functions. Avocationally, he was engaged for some time in his own company which specialized in film and sound design. Since 2016 he is Brand Experience Director at Hotz Brand Consultants, mainly creating brand inspirations and touching brand experiences on a conceptual level.

    Career: Brand Experience Director, HBC < Founder of Sensorial Surroundings < Brand/Motion Designer and Conceptualizer, Hotz & Hotz < Studies of graphic design, Hochschule Luzern

  • Rahel Steppacher

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

    Already while studying psychology and economics at the University of Zurich, Rahel was engaged intensely in the field of brand psychology. Consumer behavior, brand development and advertising psychology were her key topics during studies. For her master's thesis she conducted a Swiss-wide study about the image effect. After getting her degree, she complemented her psychological knowledge with collecting marketing experiences at an international fashion brand in Switzerland and New York. 2011 she came to Hotz Brand Consultant as consultant and was supporting companies to create an economically successful brand image. By the end of 2014 she switched to Hieronymus – initially temporarily – to open the flagship store in Zurich. As Director Business Development at Hieronymus, Rahel now is responsible for the development of new business areas as well as for marketing and sales.

    Career: Director Business Development, Hieronymus Stationers AG < Brand Consultant, Hotz Brand Consultants < Retail Marketing and PR, Hugo Boss International Markets < Marketing, La Praire Group > Studies of social and business psychology and economics, University of Zurich (lic. phil. / Master of Science in Psychology)

  • René Affolter

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

    After having graduated from University of St. Gallen (HSG) with a degree in business administration, René obtained a master’s degree in strategic marketing at the Cranfield School of Management in the UK. For more than ten years now he has been working in the field of enterprise software, eight of which as Head of European Business Development for a provider of rights and royalties management software in London, where he was consulting companies across industries. René Affolter joined GateB as a Director in August 2014 and is responsible for global business development and partnerships with various marketing software providers. His main focus is on the marketing operations and marketing automation areas, ranging from brand and marketing portals to publishing solutions.

    Career: Global Director Business Development, GateB < Managing Director, Marmot Balboa AG < European Sales Manager, REAL Software Systems < Master in Strategic Marketing, Cranfield School of Management (UK) < Bachelor in Business Administration, University of St. Gallen (HSG)

  • Robert Schumacher

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

    Robert studied business administration at the University of Bern (focus: marketing management) and e-commerce at the Franklin University, Columbus OH/USA. Robert is one of the leading pioneers in data-driven marketing and CRM within Switzerland. His extensive business experience over the past 20 years stretches from various positions in direct marketing, marketing and CRM management in the global finance industry (CH and USA) to CEO Central Europe of a leading global software company. He also founded and helped grow multiple start-ups. In his last engagement, Robert was heading the Customer Intelligence Solution Department of SAS Switzerland. As of November 2015, he is directing GateB’s Customer Analytics Department. Robert teaches at colleges, is a speaker and presenter and is on advisory boards and technical committees in the CRM and marketing industry.

    Career: Director New Business Development, GateB < Head Customer Intelligence, SAS Institute AG, Schweiz < Head Business Development Dixendris AG & Gaggohaas GmbH < Managing Director & Member of the Board, Insightful AG, Schweiz (today: TIPCO) < CRM Manager, < Marketing Manager, Bank One & (today: Chase) < Associate Director, UBS AG < Certified Studies e-commerce & e-marketing, Franklin University, Columbus OH/USA < Master of Science Business Administration, University of Berne

  • Samir Ganouchi

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

    For more than 20 years Samir has been working for the companies of the Brand Leadership Circle. With his background as polygraph and graphic designer and his year-long experience in project management, he is very familiar with the companies – and their competences – within the Brand Leaderships Circle and therefore consulting clients across the departments. But his passion still belongs to communication that can be physically experienced. Since 2014 Samir is Managing Director of Studio Victor Hotz, where unique first-class objects out of paper are conceived and realized.

    Career: Managing Director, Studio Victor Hotz < Consultant, Mintberry < Designer and Consultant, Hotz Brand Consultant < Apprenticeship as graphic designer < Apprenticeship as polygraph

  • Thorsten Traber

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

    After finishing his studies at the Institute of Communication Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Konstanz, Thorsten went as Art Director to the design agency Simon & Goetz in Frankfurt am Main before he changed as Executive Creative Director to the agency Claus Koch in Düsseldorf. Since 2005 he is a firm part of the Brand Leadership Circle, where he started as Design Director and Team Leader at Hotz Brand Consultant, and now – since 2011 – is Creative Director at Hieronymus. All products and designs of Hieronymus were conceived by him and his team – or with external partners, as is the case for example with the design concept for the flagship store in Zurich. Moreover, he is responsible for the strategic development of the brand and overseeing all conceptional approaches across all media.

    Career: Creative Director, Hieronymus < Design Director and Team Leader, Hotz Brand Consultants < Executive Creative Director, Claus Koch, Düsseldorf < Art Director, Simon & Goetz, Frankfurt am Main < Studies in communication design, University of Applied Sciences Konstanz

  • Tobias Baumann

    Tobias Baumann Director Consulting, HBC
    +41 41 748 64 94

    Tobias can look back on 12 years’ experience in all aspects of branding, marketing, communication and business development. He began his career as a product manager and in business development at a technology company. After completing two extensive training courses, he transferred from the client side to consulting. Since then he has worked for various leading agencies, advising large and medium-sized companies in all industry sectors on generating as well as implementing brand and communication strategies. Tobias studied business management and gained an MA in marketing, services and communication management from the University of St Gallen. At Hotz Brand Consulting, Tobias advises clients on all aspects of branding and also leads the team of consultants.

  • Uli Meier

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

    After a formation as print and digital media designer, Uli got a diploma in project management. For more than 10 years he has been consulting companies of diverse branches (publishing sector, mail-order trade, industry, banking and insurance sectors, retail trade) in Switzerland, Germany and Austria with regard to the launch and implementation of communication and publishing systems. His know-how extends to all fields of digital asset management systems, PIM & e-commerce, web-to-print solutions, brand management as well as partial or full automation of publishing. His main focus is on selling, implementing and expending multichannel publishing solutions. Uli Meier came as Director to GateB in 2013, prior to which he was Head of Project Management at Censhare (Switzerland) for 5 years and as such significantly responsible for the establishment and success of the Zurich branch.

    Career: Director Multichannel Publishing, GateB AG < Managing Director, Mondays Corporate Publishing < Head of Project Management, Censhare (Schweiz) AG < Assistant Business Unit Manager for Publishers, w&co Media Services GmbH & Co. KG < Media Consultant, Infowerk AG

  • Robert den Otter

    Robert den Otter Director Digital Consulting, Calydo
    +41 41 748 44 13

    Ever since he was very young, Robert den Otter has understood the power of a thrilling story; after all, the tales his father used to tell him on Sundays were what inspired his dream of becoming an astronaut. Today Robert describes his career as having his feet very firmly on the ground, but he still wants to reach for the stars with his achievements. Robert has been in the communications branch for 20 years and, by using dynamic storytelling at ever-developing touchpoints, has made a real contribution to the success of each particular business, whether as a journalist, consultant or marketer in different national and international companies. As Director Digital Consulting, Robert manages the Digital und Motion Teams at Calydo and is responsible for the further development of the agency in these areas.

    Career: Director Digital Consulting, Calydo < Marketing Communications Manager at LK International AG (KJUS) < Senior Consultant, Farner Consulting < National Communications Manager, Red Bull Schweiz AG < National Communications Manager, Migros Genossenschafts-Bund < Head of Crossmedia Promotion Department, “20 Minutes” in Zürich < Communications Instructor on the staff of MIKA (Swiss Army Management, Information & Communication Training) < Studies in journalism and organization communications, ZHAW Winterthur

  • Adrian Bosshard

    Adrian Bosshard Director Content Creation, Calydo
    +41 41 748 44 70

    Adrian has been with the Brand Leadership Circle in various consulting functions since 2008, his core areas being brand development, text/concept and marketing communications. As a member of the Calydo management, his particular focus lies in target group oriented communication of topics, concept and creation of relevant content, as well as the key area of real estate marketing. Before joining Calydo, he was with Hotz Brand Consultants where he supported national and international clients such as Mobilezone, Dätwyler or Alfred Müller on branding issues. Adrian studied history and journalism at the University of Zürich.

    Career: Director Content Creation, Calydo < Strategy Director, Knobel Corporate Communications < Brand Consultant, Hotz Brand Consultants < Taylor Hofer Partners, Head of Research & Knowledge Management < lic. phil. / MA in history and journalism

  • Simone Maier Begré

    Simone Maier Begré Director Organisational Design Consulting, BLC
    +41 41 748 44 56

    Simone is responsible for building up a new consulting field at the interface of customer experience and organizational development. The objective is to give BLC clients more extensive and longer-lasting support, with a client-focused and dynamic approach. Simone is an experienced Change Manager and Senior Project Leader with in-depth knowledge of marketing, brand leadership and CRM. She studied business sciences at the University of Witten/Herdecke in Germany and gained a doctorate in marketing, strategy development and organizational learning at the University of St. Gallen. Simone has also undergone further training in change management and systematic consulting, as well as in teaching methods and didactics. While with the Raiffeisen Group, Simone built up their brand leadership and developed and implemented a programme to introduce operative CRM at the Raiffeisen banks. She worked for many years at Mobiliar, managing the client competence centre and introducing customer analytics as a sales control tool. For the past three years, Simone was Senior Project Manager at the Neue Aargauer Bank, responsible for implementing a wide range of digitization projects.

    Career: Director Organizational Design Consulting, BLC < Senior Project Manager Corporate Development, Neue Aargauer Bank AG < Head of Client Competence Centre, Die Mobiliar (insurance) < Head of Brand Conception, Raiffeisen Schweiz < Strategy development, Swiss Association of Raiffeisen Banks < Doctorate in marketing, strategy development and organizational learning, University of St. Gallen (HSG) < Degree in business sciences, University of Witten/Herdecke

  • Simon Grand

    Simon Grand Member of the BLC Board, BLC
    +41 41 748 44 00

    Simon Grand is a Member of the BLC Board and is contributing to the BLC Lab as well as strategic projects of the Brand Leadership Circle. He has over 20 years’ experience in holding strategic dialogues with experienced entrepreneurs and executives. Our common goal is the consistent advancement of the executive management’s capability to make decisions, take action and be innovative. As a strategy designer, knowledge entrepreneur and management researcher, he is committed to defining viable long-term strategies more clearly, embedding them into practised strategy processes, transforming them into persuasive strategy communication, and testing them with innovative initiatives and strategic experiments. Simon also holds responsibilities as a Member of the Board at several entrepreneurially managed companies.

    Career: Member of BLC Board < Professor of Strategic Management & Management Innovation at the University of St. Gallen & Research Fellow at Zurich University of the Arts < Academic Director of RISE Management Innovation Lab & co-author of the St. Gallen Management Model, as well as co-curator of the CreativeEconomies Venture < various key positions at the interface of strategy, brand and design < Graduated in organization studies after studies in economics, sociology and philosophy in Zürich & Paris (sponsored by the Swiss Study Foundation)

  • Fabian Hotz

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

    In the Nineties already, Fabian forced a radical shift of thinking in his father's enterprise and pushed the reorientation of the printing company, transforming it into a group of enterprises for brand-oriented business development. In 2007 he became sole owner of the group, which he positioned at the interface of brand, management and technology, calling it Brand Leadership Circle in 2011. Being an entrepreneur, Fabian has got extensive experience and knowledge in building and transforming companies. Presently, he is founding several companies in the field of paper and writing culture. In addition he is still consulting clients regarding their strategy.

    Career: Chairman of the Board and Owner, Brand Leadership Circle; Chairman of the BLC Board; Managing Director, Hieronymus < CEO, Hotz Group < Managing Director, Hotz Brand Consultants < Brand Designer, Di Plano Design, New York < Apprenticeship as typographer

  • Bastian Schneider

    Bastian Schneider Chief Strategy and Business Development Officer, BLC
    +41 41 748 64 22

    Bastian is responsible for the strategic development of the brand leadership circle. For more than 15 years, he has been consulting companies in over 40 branches in Switzerland, Germany and Austria in the field of strategic and operational brand management. His main focus is on developing brand-driven strategy, brand analysis and positioning, brand and assortment architecture, concepts for brand mobilisation, employer branding as well as the realisation of brand-oriented transformation processes in complex organisations. Bastian is regularly publishing papers in the field of brand management and is holding lectures at companies, universities and conferences.

    Career: CSO, BLC < Strategy Director, Hotz Brand Consultants < Consultant, Institut für Markentechnik in Geneva < Partner of the company and mangement consultancy NOHETO! in Witten < Studies of economics, University of Witten/Herdecke < Banker, Marcard, Stein & Co, Hamburg.

  • Antonio Farati

    Antonio Farati IT Supporter
    +41 41 748 44 51

  • Fabrizio Marra

    Fabrizio Marra IT Project Manager/Requirements Engineer
    +41 41 748 64 91

  • Corinne Meyer

    Corinne Meyer Mitarbeiterin Finance
    +41 41 748 44 09

  • Marco Odermatt

    Marco Odermatt Human Resources
    +41 41 748 44 30

  • Sandra Soltermann

    Sandra Soltermann Köchin
    +41 41 748 44 63

  • Laura Straub

    Laura Straub Executive Assistant & Office Manager, BLC
    +41 41 748 44 27

  • Christian Zürcher

    Christian Zürcher Teamleiter Accounting
    +41 41 748 64 26

  • Christine Schneider

    Christine Schneider Media Relations
    +41 41 748 44 00


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:

November 2018 The brand experience starts with the packaging

«If I have had positive experiences with a particular package design, I am very likely to choose it again. My confidence in the brand is reconfirmed whenever I come into contact with it. A hundred percent on brand. Familiar. Different from the others. A package design that doesn’t see itself as the packaging of an object, but as part of the brand and brand experience. Functional and aesthetic. Something that does not lessen the experience, nor try to outdo it. No complicated milk caps or seals. But nor should there be any blatant promises which are then not fulfilled», states the Brand Leadership expert Bastian Schneider in the specialist journal creativ verpacken 7/2018.

Download PDF

October 2018 «Learn to learn!» – Technical Paper as part of Swiss Marketing Leadership Study by Zurich University of Applied Sciences

In this year’s Swiss Marketing Leadership Study by the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Robert Schumacher, the Brand Leadership expert and gateB Director, explains in his paper «Learn to learn! What to look out for with data-based marketing projects» why these in particular lend themselves to an iterative approach, along the lines of: Think Big, Start Small, Grow Fast. «Data-based projects involve constant testing, assessing and learning», according to Robert Schumacher.

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October 2018 SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) meets Crypto Valley

Yesterday, the first meetup of our client SIX and their Digital Exchange SDX took place in the CV Labs in Zug. After having announced to build a complete end-to-end and fully integrated digital asset trading-, settlement and custody service, it was important to SDX to be sharing the current state of the development with the community. This way, the two worlds have been bridged a first time with many more encounters to come.

Thank you Valerio Roncone, Sven Roth and Ivo Sauter for sharing your insights!

October 2018 Digital Hub on 3rd Relevance Afternoon

On 27.09.2018 Calydo and gateB held their 3rd Relevance Afternoon at the Brand Leadership Headquarters. The event was dedicated solely to the communicative opportunities of a digital hub and the question of how companies can use digital touchpoints to give customers and users an optimal brand experience and how best to strengthen their customer relationships. Calydo and gateB examined this important topic with the participants in two workshop sessions and were able to share their interesting experiences. Using a smart content strategy and intelligent digital touchpoints (such as the company website), the attendees learnt how to devise a concept geared towards business objectives. In addition, they generated actual use cases which both challenged and evaluated their own digital presence.

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September 2018 gateB Data Analytics Team takes second place in the «Solve Food Waste» Challenge

For the «Solve Food Waste» Challenge (by SIX), held during the «Open Food Data Meets Smart Kitchen» Hack Days in Zug, the gateB Team succeeded in developing a fully functioning Minimal Viable Product (MVP). The judges rewarded the Team with the second place.

For an MVP, a functioning App had to be developed which would intelligently manage the food products in the home by, for example, dynamic calculation of the expiry dates of individual foodstuffs and highlighting those that were likely to perish in the short term. In addition, recipe suggestions were called for which would make use of the foods near the end of their shelf life. Dynamic calculation of expiry dates is possible through Machine Learning, where the accuracy improves with each and every entry.

The Team now has the opportunity to do further work on the project with the backing of V-ZUG and SIX.

The «Open Food Data Meets Smart Kitchen» Hack Days were organized by, V-ZUG, SIX, gateB, and other partners from September 7-9 in Zug, where engineers, developers, agricultural and nutritional experts, academics, and data specialists gathered together to develop new innovations towards a transparent and sustainable food system.

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September 2018 «More Customer Relevance thanks to Smart Content» - Calydo meets Digital Summit 2018

The 2018 Digital Summit for SMEs was held in Zurich on 29.08.2018. This event is an initiative to support the digitization of SMEs in Switzerland. With over 300 experts it offers on the spot consulting, specialist in-house courses and workshops for companies on many aspects of digitization, block chain, IoT, AI, social media, marketing, and process optimization. The objective is to provide unbiased support for SMEs so that they can make optimal use of the potential of digitization: for their customers, business partners and employees. The Brand Leadership specialists Bettina Schoch, Managing Director of Calydo, and Robert den Otter, Director Digital Consulting at Calydo, presented their experiences during a study workshop on the subject.

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September 2018 gateB Business Breakfast 2018: Transforming Digital into Value

How can we use the potential of technology and data to streamline and improve customer relationships? On August 29, 2018 around 100 marketing, communication and digital experts participated in the gateB Business Breakfast at Four Points by Sheraton in Zürich. Moderated by Bastian Schneider, Chief Strategist at BLC, several well-known speakers presented their current insights and specific examples of digitization from practical experience. The futurologist Nicklas Bergman talked about the 10 global technology trends and their impact on business and society. Jérôme Koller, Head of Data & Analytics at Mobiliar, provided us with an impressive insight behind the scenes of the oldest insurance company in Switzerland. Alexei Kounine, Head AI Selligent Marketing Cloud, spoke about the useful roles which artificial intelligence can already play in marketing. Robert Schumacher, Director at gateB, gave us a «tour de force» through his key findings from a wide variety of consulting projects. In the subsequent panel discussion, speakers and participants explored the day’s topics in more detail, resulting in many lively exchanges.

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August 2018 «Creating together. Progressing together.»

The motto for this year’s BLC Super Friday on 24.08.2018 was «Creating together. Progressing together.» After kick-off and pizzas, in different specialist groups and based on key questions, the Brand Leadership Circle members gateB, Calydo and Hotz Brand Consultants developed the future training programme of the BLC Academy: What will change in our working world? How can we inspire our clients now and tomorrow? What skills should we develop in order to be successful in the future? At BLC there are many specialists in many different areas. With the BLC Academy we want to learn from each other and with each other even better than we do now!

After the «Results-Vernissage» in the Hieronymus Manufactory, we all gathered by the lake in Hünenberg for the BLC Summer Party with a delicious barbecue, and music by DJ SKOR. Many thanks to everyone for their great participation! It was a lot of fun.

July 2018 Innovative Brand Leadership: The Brand as a Management Tool

How does brand leadership succeed in the digital age, with Generation Y and dynamic development processes? And why has AXA Winterthur in particular invested all its efforts into becoming a modern brand? These were questions discussed by Mélanie Gujan, Head of Marketing Communications at AXA, and Brand Leadership Circle expert Alex Herrmann, Strategy Director at Hotz Brand Consultants, during the “ComImpact” conference on 05.07.2018 held at the HWZ (Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration).

The «ComImpact» conference at the HWZ (Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration) presents the latest off- and online findings from the world of marketing and business communication.

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July 2018 gateB is new member of digitalswitzerland

digitalswitzerland is a joint initiative by businesses, the public sector and academia; Its objective is to promote innovation and entrepreneurship in Switzerland, with the focus on digital transformation, so that Switzerland becomes a leading digital hub.

The Brand Leadership company gateB will use its know-how and many years of digital experience to assist with the following issue: how can large – as well as small – companies use the potential of technology and data to structure their client relationships more intelligently, faster and better? The data scientists, marketing professionals and technology specialists at gateB support national and international companies in the areas of Customer Intelligence, Marketing Analytics, Campaign Management, Marketing Operations, Multichannel Publishing and Marketing Automation.

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July 2018 «Who’s Who in the Zoo» - The Brand Leadership Circle was there!

The Crowdfinders Ltd event «Who’s Who in the Zoo?» took place in London on 28.06.2018. «Who’s Who in the Zoo» is a dynamic, stimulating and informative event for investors, businessmen and companies seeking appropriate backers. An important topic was Blockchain & Crypto. The Brand Leadership Circle expert Lukas Hotz, Director Ventures, together with other experts Thomas Reveillon, Project Manager & Roadshow Leader at CHAINEUM, J-L. Senent, „Chainging“ the World at Orbi Network, Elie Boudara, Chief Blockchain Officer at Trecento Blockchain Capital, William Orde, Investment Manager at Oxford Capital and Linda S. Leaney, CFO at Globcoin, all presented their first-hand experiences.

June 2018 Competitive Advantage lies in Analytics – gateB at the SAS Forum 2018

Occupying centre stage at this year’s SAS Forum at the Dolder Grand Hotel, Zurich on 30.05.2018 was the issue of how IoT, KI & Co. come into everyday business. More than 400 people took part in this event, arguably the most significant Analytics Conference in Switzerland.

There were presentations by companies from a diverse range of industries and specialist areas, including Coop, dm- Drogerie (chemists), Helsana (health insurance), the Zurich Cantonal Bank, the German Credit Bank, Lufthansa and GlaxoSmithKline.

The Brand Leadership Circle expert Dr. Bernd Fellinghauer, Leader Data Science gateB, showed together with Raphaela Ziegler, Leader Info-Center at the Zurich Cantonal Bank, how gateB digitized non-digital content with the latest text-mining methods. The content consisted of an archive of roughly two million pages, some of which had been handwritten in the 19th century.

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July 2018 Impact of new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on Online Marketing

At the Executive Briefing of the Swiss CRM in Zürich the topic this time was the new EU directive on data protection, which became effective on May 25, 2018, and its impact on online marketing. Lukas Bühlmann, Head Digital, Data Privacy & e-Commerce Meyerlustenberger Lachenal AG, Peter Tüscher, Leader Projects Client Marketing & CRM Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund, and the Brand Leadership Circle expert Robert Schumacher, Director Business Development gateB, investigated the best possible ways to contact and inspire clients despite these new restrictions. «The GDPR is an opportunity for marketing teams to reinforce their focus on their clients. This professionalization will ultimately benefit both companies and their clients», reasoned Robert Schumacher.

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June 2018 A magic dwells in each beginning...

The experts from the Brand Leadership Circle together with the founding team of YASAVA and Deiss Consulting Group during a collaborative co-creation kick-off workshop in Montreux. The goal: to kick-start the strategic direction for their new blockchain startup with a positive impact on climate change.

May 2018 Brand Leadership Circle and Photochain start Cooperation on UI/UX

Photochain is an innovative blockchain start-up for stock photography based in Tallinn, Estonia. Using the opportunities offered by new technology, Photochain wants to redefine the rules of the game in the stock photography market: so that originators have full control over their digital images, and so that licensing of and trading with digital images is made transparent, efficient and fair for all participants. Each and every image uploaded to the Photochain database is linked to a photographer or creator, and this link cannot be removed or manipulated.

The Brand Leadership Circle will support Photochain in developing a unique UI/UX - User Experience with the aim of making the process of buying or selling digital images at Photochain as smooth and convenient as possible. Particular attention is paid to the mass market and non-technical users.

In return, Photochain offers the Brand Leadership Circle companies new, innovative access to digital images protected by copyright. This fast, direct and simple access to digital images, graphics and other visual photos protected by copyright is essential for successful marketing, communication and branding projects.

Find out more about photochain and the partnership.

April 2018 Keynote at Blockchain Summit Crypto Valley Zug 2018

Blockchain technology is progressing by leaps and bounds. It is growing fast, and is bringing change and driving innovation both in Zug and around the world. On 26.04.2018 the 2nd Blockchain Summit Crypto Valley was held in the Casino Theater Zug. The subject of this conference for Crypto businesses and specialists was: Corporates vs. Start-ups. Programme topics were blockchain in the real estate business, the future of financial management, the role of the government in a decentralized world, and the future of decentralized technologies.

Bastian Schneider, Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer of the Brand Leadership Circle, gave the Communications keynote speech: «Building Brands in a decentralized World» and participated in the subsequent Communications Panel: «Communications & Marketing 3.0 – New boarders, new channels, new speed» - together with Maria Jones, Vice President CoinTelegraph Media Group, José Senent, CEO & Co-founder Orbi Network, and Norina Frey, Senior Consultant Narwal Blockchain PR.

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April 2018 The Calydo Relevance Afternoon goes into the 2nd Round

Data-driven targeting, real-time monitoring of campaign progress, intelligent adaptation to user reactions: During the Relevance Afternoon #2 on April 12, 2018 Calydo, clients and gateB dealt with aspects of smart campaigning. Particular attention was paid to target definition, methods of measurement, and handling dynamic content in smart campaigns. In the 2-hour workshop session, targets and KPIs were defined for a campaign of their own, a test design was prepared and they created their own relevant content. During the subsequent apéritif riche, experiences were exchanged and stimulating discussions held – due in no small part to the interesting mix of branches represented, which ranged from publishing through finance to the textile industry. The next Relevance Afternoon #3 is expected to take place in September 2018!

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March 2018 Hotz Brand Consultants supports Lucerne University Innovation Lab

How do you innovate out of the brand? — At the Innovation Lab of the Design Management Institute of the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts Alex Herrmann (Strategy Director at HBC), Tobias Baumann (Consulting Director at HBC) and Dominik Streich (Creative Director at HBC) are coaching the students in the development and marketing of new, high-impact products and services. Together with Prof. Jan-Erik Baars and his students, this year they are examining the issue of how the automobile industry can manage to rack up brand enthusiasts in the future. The Innovation Lab will hold an intensive seminar in March and April 2018.

March 2018 gateB as Guest at Marketing Natives Switzerland

Keyword: Digital Transformation. Digital change will alter processes. Companies in particular will have to face the challenges of continual technological change.

Robert Schumacher, Director New Business Development at gateB, opened the first event of Marketing Natives Switzerland on March 21, 2018 at the Volkshaus Zürich with a keynote address and an introduction to the subject matter. A panel discussion with further well-known experts like Marc-Olivier Pittner - CEO of AdUnit AG, Olaf Kunz - Journalist and Digital Strategist, Paul Meyrat - Head of Digital Transformation FHS Swiss Radio and Television, Karin Taheny - Head of Consulting at Yourposition, and Daniel Scherrer - Head of Communications & PR with digitalswitzerland, completed the programme.

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March 2018 Entrepreneurs welcome!

With «BLC for Ventures» we provide one-stop shop marketing & branding support for blockchain-startups in the crypto valley.

The dynamics in Crypto Valley Zug are trilling. The entrepreneurial potential is enormous. We are located right in the very heart of this vibrating ecosystem. With «BLC for Ventures» we created a new offering highly specialized for the needs of startup companies in the blockchain sector: One-stop shop marketing & branding support. Effective and co-entrepreneurial. From business modeling and tokenomics through to branding, communications and community management to organizing TGE/ICO roadshows. From day one we help entrepreneurs to transform bold visions into reality.

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February 2018 Collaboration between gateB and Selligent Marketing Cloud

The specialist for B2C marketing automation and gateB enter into a partnership. Together, they want to help Swiss companies to communicate with their customers data-based, personalized and at the right time via the right channel.

gateB complements its proven strengths in data-driven relationship marketing and multichannel content management with this partnership. "Many customers are not yet exploiting the potential of their data, and are struggling with the challenge of merging the data into a holistic customer profile in order to generate tangible added value at the many touch points. With the Selligent Marketing Cloud, we can help customers to intelligently use their data and analytic insights on their website as well as in their mobile, email or social media campaigns," says Marco Wyler, Executive Director at gateB.

Selligent Marketing Cloud sets new standards in B2C marketing automation: the software solution is characterized by a flexible data architecture, artificial intelligence (AI) and a customer data platform (CDP); it covers all channels in the modern communications mix and has an accessible operating model, even for medium-sized companies. "With Selligent, we have the ideal partner to further strengthen the discipline of relationship marketing in Switzerland," adds Wyler.

Jürgen Neubauer, Selligent Country Manager DACH, commented on the partnership with gateB: "gateB is an established company in the Swiss market when it comes to data-driven and automated marketing. With its long-year experience on the customer side, its integrated approach and its network, gateB is a strategically important partner for us to further open up the Swiss market."

Together, they now want to help companies to make their customer dialogue fit for the challenges of the present and the future. The use of technology and data analysis is essential to communicate with customers individually and accompany them throughout their entire customer life cycle.

February 2018 Hotz Brand Consultants at ComImpact 2018

These days companies aim to communicate as efficiently and effectively as possible. Digitization and the convergence of communication media are increasing the complexity as well as the technical opportunities. The specialist conference «ComImpact» on July 5, 2018 at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration will present the latest off- and online insights from the world of marketing- and business communication.

In addition to Strategy Director Alex Herrmann of Hotz Brand Consultants, Prof. Dr. Ansgar Zerfass, University of Leipzig and Mélanie Gujan, Head of Marketing Communications, AXA Winterthur, will be the key speakers.

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January 2018 The future of strong brands: Interview

Quo-vadis brand leadership: Where is it today and how should brands be positioned for long-term success? In an interview for „creativ verpacken“ (1/18, p. 32) Bastian Schneider, Chief Strategy & Business Development Officer at BLC, gives his views on the key issues of brand-driven management.

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January 2018 Being substantially different pays off

Wallpaper magazine Design Award 2018 goes to HIERONYMUS! We are delighted to announce that our Sculpture Pen has been awarded «Best Writing Instrument».

As an expression of our creative desire for aesthetic and functional uniqueness, it took us more than 6 years for the development. The only pen of its kind, manufactured from one solid piece of metal and shaped into a blend of two geometric forms which flow smoothly from round to square.

Take a closer look here:

December 2017 gateB workshop at the IAB Italy Forum

gateB attended the IAB Italy Forum in Milan, the leading digital advertising event in Italy, and held a workshop on how to tap into the potential of technology and data to make marketing and communication processes more efficient.

During our workshop, Andrea Küpfer, CMO and responsible for the Italian market at gateB, talked about the advantages of using a content hub to create, update and distribute multimedia content across channels – online and print. Making smart use of technology and data is today a prerequisite to become more efficient in our marketing and communication practices, and to enable marketers to tell stories, focusing on the content and less on its distribution.

November 2017 Addition to our management team

Alex Herrmann has been appointed the new Strategy Director at Hotz Brand Consultants, effective 01.12.2017. The Head of Strategy for many years at the MetaDesign Brand Agency and Study Head of the CAS Brand Management and Communication of the University of Berne will assume responsibility in the areas of strategy and innovation.

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November 2017 gateB is expanding to Singapore

gateB enters the Asian market by participating in the largest FinTech festival in the region

gateB participated as an exhibitor under the Swiss Pavilion which was co-organized by Switzerland Global Enterprise and the Swiss Finance and Technology Association (SFTA). Companies in the Swiss Pavilion contribute strongly to the trustworthiness, quality and innovation of the FinTech industry. gateB was also part of the Swiss reception attended by ambassador Thomas Kupfer and guest of honour Jörg Gasser, State Secretary, Ministry of Finance Switzerland. This was gateB’s first involvement in an event in Asia before the launching of its Singapore office in January 2018.

October 2017 How cross-border Marketing works: Interview in Horizont

What does an established brand from Germany need to consider when planning a launch in Austria and Switzerland? And how should a marketing organization be structured so that cross-border brand leadership can be successful?

These questions, and other interesting ones on the special features of brand leadership in the DACH countries, are answered by Tobias Baumann, Consulting Director at Hotz Brand Consultants, and Bastian Schneider, Strategy Director at Hotz Brand Consultants, in an interview with Horizont.

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September 2017 Comprehensive Brand Refresh for VP Bank

Over the past 10 months, Hotz Brand Consultants has been working with the internationally established VP Bank to strengthen their brand positioning, to make the brand fit for the digital age both visually and in content, and to create a variety of fresh brand experiences together with Calydo.

An exciting project! Find out more

September 2017 First Relevance Afternoon about Agile Marketing

Agile Marketing is one of the hot topics of the year. In their first «Relevance Afternoon» Calydo and gateB show how it works.

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August 2017 We threw a little party...

For the 20th anniversary of our annual Open House, our first BLC Night took place in Zurich. It was a pleasure for us to spend an unforgettable evening with over 320 friends from gateB, Calydo and Hotz Brand Consultants with a view of Lake Zurich. More impressions can be found here:

BLC Night Impressions

July 2017 Customer Experience Innovation in the digital world

Alumo, producer of finest shirting for respected bespoke tailors and shirtmakers all over the world, enlisted our services to create a new company image. The artisanal manufacturing method used in Appenzell has become a rarity amongst today’s mass production and the brand story is, accordingly, “precious as a mountain crystal”. This was used to create all the brand touchpoints, and the first can now be experienced: the website.

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July 2017 A Summer Event in another World

If the words “team event” fire your enthusiasm for a high rope course, fun and games in a mountain hut or a treasure hunt, you will unfortunately be disappointed. We went to the Virtual Reality Centre in Zürich. Even though we are normally quite peace-loving, we enjoyed ourselves immensely playing this sweat-inducing laser tag. What we all found fascinating was the adventure game with whole-body tracking. Immersed in a world reminiscent of Indiana Jones, we overcame virtual hazards, solved puzzles, and laughed a lot over our mishaps. So at dinner there was plenty to talk about which will keep us thinking for a long time. After all, this was a form of further training for our Motion and Digital Team – and training has seldom been so much fun.

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Teamfoto Calydo VR Experience

June 2017 “Purpose first. Change second.” - Hotz Brand Consultants speaks at the annual Swiss Brand Conference

In our Brand Positioning Forum at the Swiss Brand Conference Hotz Brand Consultants showed together with our partners Admeira and Brand&Levie Worstmakers how to mobilize the brand as the key driver of corporate development.

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June 2017 Key to success is crystal clear self-understanding – interview with “Persönlich”

Digital transformation is causing difficulties for many businesses, and only those with clear positioning can survive. Bastian Schneider, Chief Strategist at the Brand Leadership Circle, explains why it is a mistake for companies to orient themselves on the competition, and describes how Lego is leading by example.

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June 2017 Free eBrief – The Key for Successful Operational Marketing

A sales and marketing portal builds the core of operational marketing. Every activity, from conception to the contact with customers and sales partners, are concentrated on a central platform. A marketing portal is essential when it comes to:
• Creation of marketing assets
• Simple and efficient production and distribution
• Automatized sales
• Standardized marketing planning
By using a marketing portal, chief marketing officers see gains in four main areas:
• Shorter cycle times
• Lower costs
• Improved quality
• More marketing

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May 2017 First ever detailed apartment configuration

The use of digital tools opens up tremendous opportunities in property marketing. A successful example is the apartment configurator with an integrated BIM interface used in selling residential apartments in the Aglaya Garden Tower. The tool, provides interested parties with online support in selecting apartments and materials. It facilitates the decision to purchase, and generally organizes the selling and building process more efficiently. With its unusual leafy façades, Aglaya is also architecturally a trailblazing project. The entire marketing concept was developed by Calydo, from the naming and the movies through to all marketing touchpoints, including the interaction and usability design for the configurator.

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May 2017 Free eBrief – Why Successful Multi-Channel Marketing Requires a Content Hub

Nowadays, customers expect to interact with brands in real time, through different channels, and to receive a quick and personalized response to their requests.
On top of meeting customer expectations, the creation and use of content over different channels, workflows, and processes must be managed. A multi-channel strategy is essential for companies that wish to survive in our digital age.

There are two main reasons a content hub is a must-have for a successful multi-channel strategy:

• Constant access to insights: By integrating numerous systems – from web analysis to CRM platforms to social dashboards and more – a content hub allows company-wide access to real-time data. This access empowers you to refine customer journeys, develop relevant and efficient communication, and measure the ROI of all actions. Insights gleaned from having access to real-time data are indispensable.

• Intelligent production: As the central repository for all brand assets, information, and tools, a content hub makes distributing to all digital and analog channels painless. Stakeholder feedback and approval speed up exponentially. Branches can locate all assets with ease. The result? Less redundancy, faster content edits and approval, fluid access to various channels – significant savings of time and money.

Read in our latest eBrief how a content hub empowers marketing departments to do the following five things:
• Pool assets
• Design and create dynamically
• Put customers first
• Remove obstacles
• Enable efficiencies

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April 2017 Publication: Three Ways to meaningful Artificial Intelligence

Cleverly used artificial intelligence holds great potential for many businesses to offer their clients considerable added value and create lasting brand value. “But for many companies and brands the subject of artificial intelligence is still a long way off, mainly because, at first glance, they do not see any obvious benefits for them or their clients,” according to Brand Experience Director Patrick Ensslin at Hotz Brand Consultants.

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April 2017 Free eBrief: “6 Reasons to Have a Marketing Portal in 2017″

If you look at how sales and marketing teams within Fortune 500 companies get their work done, you’ll see a problem that’s all too common. Sales reps can’t find the latest presentation materials, marketing reps can’t find the templates they need, and external agencies or partners have to email someone every time they need a logo, brand guideline, or other digital assets. This problem slows teams down from getting their work done and can compromise the brand consistency of outward-facing sales and marketing materials.

Marketing leaders have the power to solve this problem.

In our latest eBrief, “6 Reasons to Have a Marketing Portal in 2017,” you can explore how to you accomplish the following 6 things:

  1. Ensure brand consistency – Brand consistency only happens when all the messaging and imagery used in sales and marketing programs build a brand up to represent a core set of values and to exude certain emotions. To ensure brand consistency, marketing teams have to control the approval of new messaging and imagery, as well as share approved items across the organization.

  2. Make assets discoverable – All pre-approved messaging, imagery, and materials leveraging the messaging and imagery have to be discoverable by the people who need them, on-demand as the assets are needed.

  3. Centralize the tsunami of content – Brand consistent materials need to take many different forms, both online and offline. When you add up all the assets being produced for print, advertising, social media, and other key destinations, the amount of content is staggering. When this content is centralized, it becomes far easier to onboard new assets and sunset expiring assets so that teams are always working with the right source materials for sales and marketing programs.

  4. Empower self-service localization – Fortune 500 companies operate globally and often, only local teams know how to adjust a sales or marketing asset for their local audience. When marketing leaders empower self-service localization, they’re setting a workflow and framework to make the local adjustments needed without compromising the brand consistency of the adjusted work.

  5. Facilitate multi-channel publishing – The purpose of multi-channel publishing is to be present in the physical spaces and online platforms where your audience spends their time. With so many channels where a brand can be present, multi-channel publishing gets your brand where it needs to be with as little manual work as possible.

  6. Speed up marketing processes – Marketing is an ongoing process that’s never finished. And no matter how many projects marketing teams complete, it seems as though it’s never enough. Speeding up marketing processes is one way to get more done and be more responsive to the rigorous demands placed on your team.
    With these six accomplishments, your internal and external teams can discover and leverage brand consistent marketing assets on demand. As a result, your sales and marketing programs will run more efficiently and effectively.

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April 2017 BLC Directors Workshop «Creating Together»

What inspires us to come to the office every day and go full throttle. The most important factors are the collaboration with our colleagues and friends and the freedom of scope to become involved and contribute with our individual talents and interests. Our purpose of «Creating Together» hits the mark exactly. This year’s Directors Workshop on April 28, 2017 at the Maiensässhotel Guarda Val in Lenzerheide, was devoted entirely to this topic. For a whole day the BLC Directors and the partner companies worked out how we could shape a successful future together.

March 2017 Brand strategy for the Nidwalden Cantonal Bank

What can and should an established, traditional bank be known for today, if it also wants to play a relevant part in people’s lives tomorrow? Hotz Brand Consultants examined this question with and for our client, the Nidwalden Cantonal Bank, and have used our findings to create a unique, contemporary brand identity. We are more than a little proud to have been asked to assist this strong and trusted brand with 138 years of tradition on their path into the future.

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March 2017 A perfect start of the marketing and communication consultancy Calydo

Calydo is a consultancy for marketing and communication and part of the Brand Leadership Circle. It was founded in April 2016, and as it already gained a lot of notable clients in 2016, the team could be expanded to 25 employees. At the beginning of 2017 there was a change in the management. Daniel Meier, CEO of the Brand Leadership Circle, who led Calydo since its foundation ad interim, handed over the management to Bettina Schoch (Managing Director) and her deputy Lukas Hotz (Deputy Managing Director).

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January 2017 Bastian Schneider to speak at Marketing Day 17

On March 7, 2017 Strategy Director Bastian Schneider will be speaking on the following topic during this year’s Marketing Day 17 at the KKL Lucerne: “The brand as the driving force in business transformation in a digital world”.

The Marketing Day has been organized by the Swiss Marketing Forum since 1977 and is noted for being the most traditional and important of all Swiss marketing events. Using the theme of “The dead thread – digital turns everything upside down“, Marketing Day 17 conveys the latest marketing expertise and this year, for the first time, will be conducted in a festival format.

October 2016 Make a lighthouse project shine

Something unique is growing in Risch-Rotkreuz: the gardentower Aglaya with high-quality freehold flats. Starting with naming and key visual, we are making this flagship project noticeable and to come alive throughout all touchpoints. A job that exactly fits us because we think ahead for the future. The teaser website is live already

September 2016 Our growth continues.

Since its founding in March 2016, Calydo goes at full throttle on the success path. Thanks to a full pipeline with mandates, we are growing constantly and look forward to new colleagues sharing the passion and joy of our work. New specialists have already joined our consulting, design and copy writing teams. Nevertheless, we are still looking for additional coworkers. Have a look at our faces here and become a new calydo specialist here

September 2016 The future of brand leadership

In his technical paper "corporate development: the future of branding" Strategy Director Bastian Schneider explains how companies can tap the full potential of their brand.

September 2016 Understanding digital transformation as entrepreneurial opportunity

In this years Swiss Marketing Leadership Study Robert Schumacher, Director Customer & Marketing Intelligence gateB and Bastian Schneider, Strategy Director Hotz Brand Consultants, explain how companies can master digital transformation and shape a powerful future.

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September 2016 Big-Data-Pilotprojects without any up-front investment

At this year's Swiss CRM Forum Robert Schumacher and Carmelo Lantosca premiered the Swiss Data Labs, the ideal Cloud-solution with it’s location in Switzerland. This enables the needed success and agility in the implementation of Big Data pilot projects without making significant up-front investments and therefore rapidly generating added value.

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August 2016 And the nominees are...

With the project "Mission Communication for the Swiss Post, Post Offices and Sales", Hotz Brand Consultants was nominated as one of six projects for the Swiss Award Corporate Communications 2016.

August 2016 Giving a housing project drive

Primus Property is a regular customers of Calydo and takes care of real estate marketing and sale in the greater Zurich and Aargau area. Until fall 2017 new housing for young people arises on the former Electrolux site in Aarau. We are supporting this project with ideas, design and content. The website is already live and now we are working on a magazine.

August 2016 The 5 key requirements for successfull marketing in a digital world

Robert Schumacher, Director at gateB and one of the leading experts in the fields data-driven marketing and CRM broaches the hype around big data in his article «The 5 most important requirements of marketing in a digital world» short and concise.

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July 2016 We're showing relevance

Currently, we are getting a lot of mandates from the real estate industry. Because this work gives us so much pleasure, we want to share our competence with even more people. Therefore, we are currently running an ad campaign depicting a series of images by Spanish artist Víctor Enrich who perfectly illustrates the uniqueness of our ideas.

July 2016 Taking care about health

Health should be taken seriously. Especially health care. However, services and finances differ significantly depending on what health model you choose. To provide customers understandable information packed in an entertaining format, we made five animation films for Helsana explaining those differences.

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.

June 2016 GateB at SAS Forum Switzerland 2016

May 2015 GateB am SAS Forum Switzerland 2015

Das SAS Forum Switzerland 2015 findet am 12. Mai im Marriott Hotel in Zürich statt. Das Forum zeigt, wie neue Denkansätze rund um Business Analytics zum Wettbewerbsfaktor für Anwender werden.


Seit 2008 suchen und finden Branchen- und Fachspezialisten auf dem SAS Forum Switzerland Ideen und Inspirationen, um mit Business Analytics und Business Intelligence neue Geschäftswege zu bestreiten. Im Gespräch mit rund 350 Teilnehmern und Experten trifft sich eine Community, die Trends setzt.

Die Mischung aus Best-Practice-Beispielen und Visionen wird auch am siebten SAS Forum im Vordergrund stehen und Konferenzstruktur und Programm prägen. Anmeldung und weitere Informationen zum SAS Forum Switzerland 2015.

June 2016 GateB at Richemond Marketing Forum 2016

GateB ist wieder mit dabei am Richmond Marketing Forum vom 23. bis 25. Juni 2016. Jedes Jahr treffen sich im schönen Grand Resort Bad Ragaz über 150 der wichtigsten Marketingvertreter von führenden Schweizer und internationalen Firmen. GateB ist seit mehreren Jahren einer der Anbieter, welche am Forum als Supplier teilnehmen um dort wichtige neue Kontakte zu knüpfen und bestehende Kunden zu treffen.

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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.

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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.

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May 2016 Open House 2016

Die letzten Musikklänge sind verhallt – das 16. Open House ist Geschichte. Gestern durften wir mit über 150 Kunden, Partnern und Freunden des Brand Leadership Circle einen wunderbaren Abend in Steinhausen verbringen. Die Atmosphäre war beschwingt, die Begegnungen bereichernd und die Gespräche inspirierend – eine schöne Art, die Zeit zu feiern.

Wir wünschen Ihnen einen schönen Sommer!

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

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

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.

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

March 2016 Calydo ist geboren: Die neue Kraft für Relevanz in Leistung, Content und Interaktion

February 2016 GateB: Connect Hearing wird neuer Kunde

Connect Hearing, Teil der Sonova Gruppe und Schwesterfirma von Phonak, wird den BrandMaker Marketing Planer einsetzen, um in den verschiedenen Ländergesellschaften die Planung zu vereinfachen und zu standardisieren. In einer ersten Phase wird BrandMaker in Deutschland ausgerollt mit dem Ziel, später weitere Länder auf das System zu nehmen.

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

November 2015 Hieronymus: Flagship Store opens in Zürich

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.

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October 2015 GateB Webinar on brand consistency with American Marketing Association

October 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 HBC gewinnt JV von Swisscom, Publisuisse und Ringier als Kunde

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

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

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

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 Backstage-Event #1 mit Coca-Cola HBC Schweiz: Wie gewinnen wir im War for Talents?

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


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.