Corporate Canada a no show in latest list of top 20 brands

Canadian cities, Canadian health care, hell we’re even hitting the top spots at the winter olympics – Canada seems to do pretty well when it comes to worldwide rankings. But one list I’d love to see us crack is the top 20 brands in the world. Here is the most recent list. Google just bounced Apple from the top spot. But the day we have a Canadian company there then i’ll really know we’re punching above our weight. This depends on Canadian businesses truly reaching for scale, but also taking big bets and making long term plays. So for all you CEO’s doing your 5 year vision planning, whose got cracking this top 20 on their corporate bucket list?


Why this ScotiaBank ad sucks – and how to make it awesome.

Air travel these days is unpleasant. Long lines, rigid rules, fees for everything. There’s no respect for the traveller anymore. And it seems that ScotiaBank has jumped right on the band wagon with these view obstructing ads plastered all over the windows in Calgary’s airport.

They’re the equivalent of real life pop-up ads. But worse because you can’t close or remove the damn things. So even if you clear security early, and want to sit down for a minute and rest and just enjoy the view – you’ve got to strain your gaze a little to the right or left. Because Scotiabank has dropped giant credit card stickers on the windows.

Now this campaign could have been done much differently. And I think better. The pitch here is for Scotiabank’s air travel rewards card that let’s you earn air miles 4x faster. Great, ties in well with their “you’re richer than you think” tagline. And this is where the opportunity lies. The message about earning points 4x faster is on the escalator. See… Speed. The escalator is faster than walking. And that is not only a literal, experiencial connection to the benefit of the product – it is actually a benefit to anyone travelling through the airport. Who doesn’t want to get to their boarding gate faster? Or to the nearest washroom, if that happens to be the goal.


What would have made this campaign awesome would have been to completely brand one of the two escalators that run side by side though the terminal. Have one run at 4x the speed of the escaltor beside it. Or have it run at 4x the speed of typical walking speed. Now we get it. We get on the ScotiaBank escalator and ZIP we’re travelling 4x faster than everyone else. Makes us feel special. Generates goodwill.

Not like the pseudo-popup ads on the windows. That’s just annoying. About 4x more annoying than an add that isn’t blocking my view.


What’s next for Canadian boot maker La Canadienne?

bottesI first heard about La Canadienne in this Globe and Mail article a couple weeks ago. Like the iconic Canada Goose brand, La Canadienne manufactures their product here in Canada and started out providing non-branded product to organizations like the Canadian military. Also in common with Canada Goose is that La Canadienne focuses on high quality, high value product.

La Canadienne is interesting because they have only 1 retail store. So what’s the next step in the company’s growth? Will they open more stores?

If we take the analogy of Canada Goose as a road map then no, they won’t open more retail outlets and don’t need to. But wouldn’t it be a refreshing change if the brand was able to extend itself further. There is a world of difference between, say, Roots and Canada Goose. I’d like to see La Canadienne evolve into a Roots. And in my opinion expanding the number of retail outlets is key. After all, the brand is an experience, and brick and mortar offers a unique way for customers to experience the brand. Apple is a great example of a company that leveraged the powerful combination of an amazing product experience with an amazing in store experience.

La Canadienne will probably maintain its relatively narrow focus and continue to be very successful at what they do. But I hope the future holds something bigger.