René Allemann helps businesses rediscover their own souls, be authentic and stand up for their own values. His agency, Branders, translates brand strategies into images and stories – into worlds that can be experienced and trust built.

“You will meet him in the Kronenhalle, and then you’ll go over to his office for the interview. And please be sure to get a few shots of the restaurant when you go – they’re opening the restaurant just for you”. I’m amazed. For weeks, we’ve tried to get permission to shoot in the Kronenhalle. We’ve always gotten the same, laconic answer: “Closed due to renovations”. Tellingly, my editor shrugged her shoulders.

Who is this Allemann?

Bellevueplatz is surely one of the nicest squares in Zurich. The pulsing heart of the city. Many streetcar lines come together here. People disembark, transfer, hastily drink an espresso in one of the many sidewalk cafés, eat a snack whilst standing, all in front of the enchanting backdrop of Lake Zurich. Old, noble Art Nouveau buildings from Switzerland’s founding period, sumptuous, like the colossal grand hotel Bellevue. The rising middle class celebrating itself.

The office of Allemann’s agency, elegantly historical, five-storeys tall, is located right next to the venerable restaurant. On the glass door to the reception, you can see the slogan that made Allemann successful: identity works. When he shakes my hand and smiles, I know why.

Identity works – does it always work?

“There are some brands where you need to admit their time is up. The moment to sell or merge has passed. In all romance you need to ask yourself: Does this all still make sense? We can’t make those decisions easier for anybody. Not every brand has to survive”.

Are you prepared to take responsibility? If people take your advice, rationalise, restructure, employees are laid off …

“Yes, we are aware of this responsibility, and want to be sensitive to it”.

I follow him up to the roof terrace. Old faded furniture sits in the sun. Behind it, the metre-high characters of a long-established Zurich newspaper, the backs of which are covered in rust and patina, a true original. Behind that, Lake Zurich, to the horizon. A breathtaking panorama. I look at the time and remember that I need to go back to the Kronenhalle. Take a few photos. We’ll see if they let me in …

Read the full story at FALKE footprints

René Allemanns favourite spots in Zurich are:

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