Does your organization have these 4 distinctly Canadian brand values?

Leah Andrew
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What does being a Canadian brand mean to us?

We’re Sharing 4 Brand Values That We Believe Are Distinctly Canadian

It’s Canada day. That time when any self-respecting Canadian who has a cottage – or knows someone with a cottage – begins their journey to cottage-country. For what? Well, for a few days of truly Canadian pastimes of course! Hiking nature trails, enjoying fireworks, swimming in lakes, and watching sunsets.

This is also the time that we see Canadian consumer brands shift their messaging to align with being Canadian. One of our favourites has to be the iconic Molson Canadian “I am Canadian” rant.

So, that got us thinking… what does being a Canadian brand mean to us? 4 brand values immediately sprang to mind:

Inclusive and Aware

As a country, we’ve proudly curated a cultural mosaic where many voices, shades of skin colour and backgrounds can live and work together. In fact, the 2016 Census identified more than 250 ethnic groups in Canada which contributes to the rich tapestry that we know and have come to love. 

When I think about that very distinctive trait, M.A.C. Cosmetics pops to mind. Founded in Toronto, Canada in 1984 by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo, this was one of the pioneering brands to really embrace diversity and individuality in its advertising images. A memorable campaign was its 2019: M.A.C. Canadian Originals campaign.

As a boutique Canadian marketing agency, we try to uphold this brand value every day. We encourage all voices to be heard around the table, we embrace our differences because together we are much stronger than apart.

Good Listeners (...and Polite Houseguests)

As Canadians we are proud to sew the Canadian flag on our backpack or luggage as we travel around the world. Our reputation as polite, kind, houseguests precede us! 

A brand that comes to mind that listens to customers, pays it forward with random acts of kindness is Calgary based Westjet!  Their 2013 Christmas Miracle campaign saw phenomenal acts of kindness that didn’t leave a dry eye in the room, and not surprisingly, won awards.

At Andrew Perry we work to uphold this trait as a brand value by practicing the key steps of active listening. We seek to genuinely understand the full person from technical skills, background, family life, preferred communication styles and more.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Collaborators (Willing to Pitch in a Hand)

One of the next brand values that come to mind when we think about what being a Canadian brand means to us, is collaboration.

An example of a recent Canadian collaboration is the Black Opportunity Fund.  Three dozen Black Canadian business leaders joined forces to launch a new fund to make long-term investment to support Black-led organizations and business across the country.  It’s a move that seeks to combat systemic racism in corporate Canada.

Many ideas grow better together when they are transplanted into another mind than the one they sprang up in

For us, collaboration is a critical brand value for how we work with clients. Success in this new world of marketing will require an investment in collaboration tools and mindsets, especially as remote working scenarios become part of the new normal.

Good Sense of Humour….eh?

And finally, Canadians have an amazing sense of humour! You don’t have to look much further than Schitt’s Creek, Letter Kenny or classic Bob and Doug Mackenzie. Our humour is dry, cutting and elevated.

For example, how about this Drug Free Canada commercial? They were able to weave some humour into a very serious 2020 Campaign about the unpredictability of edible gummies.

At Andrew Perry, we try to bring the ‘F’ factor when we work with our team and clients every day. Whether it’s my never ending use of sound effects or Abena’s killer dance moves, we believe fun is a non-negotiable brand value.

Happy Canada Day!

What does being a Canadian brand mean to you? Let us know! @andrewperrymktng

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