Branding Canada, where to begin?

Branding Canada, where to begin?

When it comes to asking which brand is the most trustworthy, has the most presence or is most engaging – the answer can be a very personal one. This is due to the fact that we increasingly identify with, relate to, and define ourselves by them – which gives brands something measurable: influence.

But when it comes to branding something bigger than a product where do you start? Last week Finance Minister Jim Flaherty pledged to help develop a new branding campaign for Canada as part of his 2014 budget.

The idea is to brand products made in Canada with just that ‘Made in Canada’. Mr. Flaherty’s budget points out the fact that no widely recognized Canadian branding currently exists and that it may potentially become a powerful tool to encourage consumers to choose Canadian products and therefore help boost the Canadian economy.

In today’s connected era, branding and reputation management is especially challenging. Brands have less control over how they are talked about online; word of mouth now spreads virally. When coming up with a concept for the ‘Made in Canada’ branding campaign it’ll be important to stay away from cliché stereotypes. Evidently, this means avoiding terms such as; maple, moose and Mounties and we’ll have to drop the apologetic, unassuming Canadian voice. A successful branding campaign should tell a story of progress through modern ideas and fresh visual language.

So, on that note … #sorrynotsorry #canadianproblems

  • Canada brought you Lululemon and therefore spandex pants. Yup, you’re welcome.
  • The maple leaf is a pretty cool symbol. Woah, woah, woah… I said maple leaf NOT the Maple Leafs. Jeez. Sorry Toronto.
  • Tim Hortons: Two rims are better than one.
  • Hudson’s Bay: No, not the blankets. We actually own Saks.
  • Canadian fashion trends; no one looks better scraping an icy windshield than a Canadian wearing a Canada Goose parka and Sorel boots. Ok both brands are now owned by Americans but hey we started them!
  • I know I said no maple syrup, but remember that Maple Syrup Heist last year? It’s going Hollywood!
  • Potash. It may not be sexy, but farmers seem to like it.
  • Everyone loves bacon right? … okay wait for it… what if we trademarked “Canadian Bacon”?
  • Ditto “Montreal smoked meat.” Delis across the world offer Montreal-style smoked meat, but there’s not so much as a “merci beaucoup”
  • And, of course we’d have to incorporate our adorable terms and phrases like toonie, double-double, sh*t-kickers and serviettes #whatdoCanadianssay (we can definitely get that trending).

 What do you think of ‘Made in Canada’ branding? Leave your ideas in the comments below.


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