Aluart is the largest and most innovative flagpole manufacturer in Switzerland. This reality is underscored by its numerous patents and new products. The Neudorf-based company has also been working closely with the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Horw for years to test products and develop new variants. CEO Emanuel Wüest says:
“We are carrying out what amounts to basic research, and are investigating the question: how do our masts behave in wind? This sounds simple in itself, but is a difficult and protracted job, because it means compiling a lot of data.”
Flagpoles from Aluart are user-friendly: they are delivered pre-assembled at the customer's site and need only a few simple steps to be assembled, which the customer can carry out themselves without needing tools. Aluart’s professionals only have to be called in for putting up large flagpoles.
From the national flag to advertising media
Flagpoles have developed in Europe over the last 30 years from flying national flags in the gardens of detached houses into an advertising medium. Companies and department stores in particular now flag their locations with flagpoles and advertising flags. This development has only just begun in the USA. While 95% of the masts sold in Europe are designed as advertising media, in the USA the opposite is the case, and only national and military flags are hoisted on masts. It is thus an ideal time to enter the US advertising market with high-quality flagpoles. Aluart secured the services of Switzerland Global Enterprise back in 2016 to ensure that this would be successful. “S-GE organized short interviews with potentially interested resellers in the USA. This basis resulted in us winning a customer. Although US customers are still on a learning curve, we have been able to create a few beautiful objects in the meantime.”
Growth via persuasion and reference projects
Market development in the USA is still continuing, and CEO Wüest does not expect rapid growth: “It takes a lot of persuasion, knowledge transfer and marketing to make US Americans realise the potential of flags as a marketing tool. Although the market is large, growth requires a little patience, because larger reference projects have to be realised first.”
In addition, the Lucerne-based flagpole specialists have to reckon with particularities specific to the US. For example, the issue of pproduct liability takes on a dimension there not seen in Europe. Despite everything, Wüest is optimistic: “The potential for advertising flags is enormous, and the time now seems to be coming for advertising flags in the US as well.”
Aluart has always been an export-focused company. The Lucerne-based company had built up a strong position, especially in the neighbouring countries of Germany, France, Austria and Italy. All of its production in carried out in Neudorf. This is also true of the flagpoles built to specific customer requirements; whether it involves a flagpole mounting on an 82-meter-high tower to illuminate a Christmas star, the 16-meter flagpoles in front of Congress House in Dublin or the highest aluminium flagpole in Switzerland. The six employees produce several thousand flagpoles and telescopic poles every year.