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ICERTIAS is a cutting edge, innovative, private, politically independent, international market research and certification organisation that seeks out, discovers, certifies and rewards only companies, products and services of the highest calibre, directing interested consumers worldwide to the best the market has to offer.
ICERTIAS conducts market research and analysis, advises consumers, manufacturers and service providers, participates as a communication mediator between consumers, manufacturers and service providers, and awards Best Buy Award, QUDAL - QUality meDAL and Customers’ Friend certificates and awards to the proven best companies and organisations.
ICERTIAS is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. The vanguard ICERTIAS organisation is registered as “ICERTIAS – International Certification Association GmbH” in the Commercial Register of the Canton of Zurich.
ICERTIAS was founded and first registered in 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. Some of the services offered by ICERTIAS today (such as the Best Buy Award) were launched earlier (2010) but were then integrated into the international ICERTIAS organisation in 2011.
The pioneering ICERTIAS Best Buy Award, QUDAL – QUality meDAL and ICERTIAS Customers' Friend certification programmes are ICERTIAS' flagship products and services.
The goal of ICERTIAS is best described in our vision and mission.
ICERTIAS vision: “Helping consumers worldwide find the easiest path to exceptional products and services that improve the quality of life. Supporting outstanding companies and their superb offers to reach new customers with the greatest ease”.
ICERTIAS mission: “Searching for the best companies, products and services on the market”.
To date, ICERTIAS has conducted market research in over 40 countries on five continents.
Despite being an exceptionally young organisation founded in the “recent” year of 2011, ICERTIAS as an institution and its certificates are already highly regarded on a number of world markets - both by consumers themselves as well as by the industry, suppliers of goods and services, expert communities, journalists, from state agencies to regulators. By simply typing the name ICERTIAS or any of its certificates into Google search, numerous sources that quote ICERTIAS, ICERTIAS research and any of the ICERTIAS certifications, Best Buy Award, QUDAL - QUality meDAL and Customers' Friend, can be found.
Google alone has more than 500,000 different sources on the web that have cited ICERTIAS in the past five years.
Additionally, independent research in some markets suggests that even more than 70% of consumers would rather buy a product or service that has one of the ICERTIAS certification labels displayed on it.
Finally, in more than five years of business, ICERTIAS research results have not been challenged by any public or state authority, expert academic community or state regulator in over 40 countries where ICERTIAS operates. On the contrary, ICERTIAS respects and whenever possible cooperates with other international and local authorities such as faculties, consumer associations, journalists or state regulators. In the entire history of its business to date, ICERTIAS has not had a single court case or any other institutional dispute in any country in which it operates, which speaks volumes about the reputation and manner in which the ICERTIAS organisation conducts its business.
ICERTIAS certificates and medals are proudly and exclusively carried by leading local and international companies – those with whom consumers are most satisfied. Premier products and services of numerous eminent international companies proudly carry ICERTIAS certification accolades including Allianz, Billa, Bosch, Danone, Deichmann, Delhaize, DM-Drogerie Markt, Dr. Oetker, Du Pont, Ericsson, Exxon Mobil, Heineken, Henkel, Kaufland, Lactalis, Lidl, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Novartis (Sandoz), P&G, Samsung, Swarovski, Spar, T-Mobile, UniCredit, Unilever, Vodafone and many others.
It is the experience and opinion of consumers themselves that constitute the main criteria for ICERTIAS awards – ICERTIAS is the VOICE of CONSUMERS. ICERTIAS certificates are awarded according to consumer experience and opinion with additional checks made by ICERTIAS, so that only the best companies, products and services carry the ICERTIAS certification accolades. Quantitative market research is conducted for the Best Buy Award and QUDAL – QUality meDAL certifications using the innovative DEEPMA methodology (Deep Mind Awareness), developed by ICERTIAS in cooperation with the German research house GfK and leading international consulting company PwC – PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2010-2011. Certification for the ICERTIAS Customers' Friend programme is carried out in combination - through qualitative and quantitative market research.
The ICERTIAS organisation funds itself through the sale of its services - research results, market analyses, reports, etc. Additionally, ICERTIAS also achieves its revenues through the sale of the right to use certification labels (awards) to certified companies and organisations. Therefore, ICERTIAS does not sell certificates and medals - these must be earned by deserving companies through their exemplary business dealings and investment in quality - which is screened with the aid of ICERTIAS certification methodologies. Companies that earn the right to display any of the ICERTIAS status symbols (such as the Best Buy Award, QUDAL - QUality meDAL or Customers' Friend) can highlight these accolades in certain media channels (e.g. a corporate web site) free of charge, while for some other promotional channels (such as TV advertisements and promotions, jumbo posters, public print media and so on) the right to display these accolades requires a fee. From these fees, ICERTIAS covers the cost of monitoring certified companies (whether certified companies adhere to the certification rules and whether they use and display the ICERTIAS symbols in public accordingly) as well as financing and investing in future market research.
The Best Buy Award and QUDAL - QUality meDAL awards are awarded exclusively on the basis of market research - based on consumer experience and opinion. In these programmes, on selected markets, ICERTIAS conducts aggregate, quantitative market research across a range of economic categories (e.g. milk, family car, rice, mobile phone…) and if a particular brand in a particular category gains the largest number of votes from respondents (consumers), it is then, and only then, the brand can announce and highlight its Best Buy Award or QUDAL - QUality meDAL accolade. In the Customers' Friend programmes any interested company that believes it has an exemplary relationship with its customers can nominate itself through the Customers' Friend web form (www.customersfirend.org) or can be nominated by a consumer. Each nominated company goes through the rigorous ICERTIAS verification, the first step based on qualitative market research. Only companies that meet the conditions of this check can be certified to join the Customers' Friend system.
The Best Buy Award and QUDAL - QUality meDAL are awarded based on consumer experience and opinion - on the grounds of quantitative market research conducted on the Internet by the ICERTIAS organisation. The difference between the two is that the Bet Buy Award evaluates and rewards the price and quality ratio of a particular product or service, while QUDAL - QUality meDAL is exclusive to quality only.
Customers' Friend primarily rewards the relationship a company on the market has with its customers, employees and business partners (kindness, fairness, expertise, reputation, etc.). The Best Buy Award emphasises the price and quality ratio of the product or service itself. QUDAL - Quality meDAL rewards only the quality of a specific product or service.
An added distinction between the Customers' Friend, Best Buy Award and QUDAL - QUality meDAL programmes is that the Best Buy Award and QUDAL - QUality meDAL accolades are awarded exclusively on the basis of quantitative market research, while the primary certification for the Customers' Friend programme is based on qualitative research methods.