Is Your Brand As Canadian As€¦

For Canada Day, we look at which companies have chosen to shed their Canuck identity and which continue to fly the Maple Leaf as they expand overseas

Written by Mai Nguyen

Everyone around the world loves Canada. Last year, the Reputation Institute ranked our country number one in its annual report, so it’s no surprise that most Canadian companies want to leverage the nation’s good name when expanding abroad.

“There’s incredible value in connecting brands to Canada’s iconic image of being hospitable and industrious,” says Robert Levy, president of consumer insight company BrandSpark International. “It’s an opportunity for companies to use their Canadian roots as a selling tool.”

According to a survey by New York brand consulting firm FutureBrand, products bearing a “Made in Canada” label are globally perceived to be authentic, unique and high quality.

“Provenance is a lovely thing if you can celebrate your origins in a way that’s meaningful,” says Carolyn Ray, managing director of brand consultancy Interbrand Canada. “It’s easy to do in apparel. Banks also have an opportunity because there’s trust in the Canadian financial sector. But it’s important to ask if it’s relevant to the market you’re entering.”

Selling Canada to non-Canadians requires effective storytelling and valuable experiences. It might not even help at all to scream that you’re Canadian. Here are some home-grown companies that have hit international markets as loud and proud Canadians, and some that have shed their Canuck identity altogether.

This article is from the March 2016 issue of Canadian Business. Subscribe now!


What other Canadian-born brands do or don’t hide their Canuck identity? Do you agree with our classification? Let us know by commenting below.

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