last updated 2015 March 19th
see also
see also
see also
see also
see also
.. This Branding unit is used in
    o MGTC44
    o MGTD06
    o MRK106
    o CCT322
    o MRK460
Not all of the material in this unit will be used in each of these courses; the amount of material covered will be indicated by the actual lecture given in class by the professor. Some courses cover this topic extensively, some courses deal with it briefly.
Canada’s Best Brands 2014: The Top 25 Canadian Brands 
click Tim Hortons has been named [2014] the Top Canadian Brand for the second year in a row in the Canadian Business Magazine survey—but what does the brand actually mean to Canadians?

CEO Caira says "We keep doing the same thing over and over, and we do it better than anybody else... in each of our 3,600 stores"

"While we do have a foothold in the U.S. with 850 locations, in the past we saw the U.S. as simply an extension of Canada and, in my view, that’s the wrong strategy. There’s no such thing as a global consumer. Consumers are local: local tastes, local traditions, local recipes. So we have to be able to adapt our offering to the American consumer."

CB How are you adapting the formula for the U.S. market?

Caira "Different flavours, bolder flavours and, in some cases, larger portions in some cases. We’ve put a strategic business unit right in the U.S. market. Whereas in the past everything was done out of the Canadian office, we now have a dedicated team, with Mike Meilleur heading up our U.S. business. His job is to really cater to the needs of the U.S. consumer. There are differences, even in the coffee profiles. If we think we’re going to sell the same coffee to Americans that we sell to Canadians, I think that’s wrong."

Style Magazine is one of the leading publications of the Canadian fashion industry. Prof. Richardson has, in the past, been involved in the garment trade as a business owner and had written various articles on marketing and international business topics.

In the edition of Style for Jan 2004, Prof. Richardson wrote an article about "Branding" and the influences of the 6 environments.

. In this article, Prof. Richardson is discussing the challenges of developing a "Canadian Brand" for the clothing industry.

In addressing this formidable challenge, Richardson explains that the ability to do this depends on how we can deal with the influences of the 
  o  competitive environment
  o  social / cultural environment
  o  technological environment
  o  political / legal / regulatory environment
  o  economic environment
  o  geographic environment
Richardson explains that these environments make it difficult for Canada to consider having a global brand for clothing similar to the Italians or French, instead it is recommended that we "embrace" the extreme weather challenges of our geographic environment and "brand" Canadian clothing as being the most robust and strong for cold weather.

I (WTGR) wrote the article on branding for the Canadian clothing industry in 2004. Six years later one of my students in the int'l business class (MGTC44) at UTSC emailed to say that my recommendations had come true.

Shawn T. in the first week of June 2010 emailed to say

Shawn writes "I was just doing some late night studying for the test on monday and I got around to reading your article about Canadian branding in Style Magazine. I thought it interesting that in the closing arguments you mentioned about how a canadian brand in the garment industry should embrace the geographical environment that we are in and capitalize on it.

This immediately brought to mind the brand Canada Goose. These outerwear pieces have become ubiquitous in recent winters. There wasn't a day this past winter in toronto that I did not see someone sporting the trademark Black Parka with the Canada Goose Patch on it's side."

Shawn adds "What is even more interesting is how this brand has become internationally known, or at the very least gaining international acclaim. It has been in many movies such as: The Day After Tomorrow, National Treasure, and Snow Dogs among others.

It has also graced the pages of numerous magazines, most notable for me GQ, but it has also been in Maxim, Men's Health, and People Magazine."

Shawn concludes "I think this is probably exactly the company that you were imagining when you wrote about a Canadian company that produces the best outerwear, as the jackets are undeniably the warmest jackets you can pick up."
Laura Bogomolny, Staff Writer at Canadian Business magazine, put together an interesting article in June 2004 titled "Land of the Bland: Why most Canadian Brands lack Global Prestige"

Bogomolny quotes Prof. Alan Middleton (York U) et al to conclude we have not had any brands which are well known outside of Canada as being Canadian.

Bogomolny suggests that the reason for this situation is our resource based economy

Bogomolny says "...Canadian culture may be the true culprit. "We don't celebrate our brands," says Rob Guenette, Toronto president of the advertising firm Taxi. "When we have great brands, we tend to whisper instead of shout. The great brands of the world have been shouting for a long time." Tudhope thinks the Canadian psyche is just not promotional or aggressive enough."

Canadian Brands Known as Canadian, outside Canada This is our amateur attempt to make a rather "subjective" list of Canadian brands, known as Canadian, which are well known outside of Canada

Witiger's list of Canadian Brands known outside of Canada
- to "educate" those people who think we have nothing
- email me and add to the list
1. ski-doo - everybody all around the world calls it a ski-doo (whether it is made by Bombardier or not) after the brand name of Bombardier's snowmobile invention
2. CCM skates - thousands and thousands of American and European hockey players know CCM hockey equipment as being one of the oldest and highest quality brands in sports equipment.
3. Canadian Club Whiskey - one of the leading alcohol exports of Canada to the U.S.A., Europe and Asia. Very famous among Tokyo businessmen.
(originally a Canadian company, now owned by Allied Domecq PLC of the U.K.)
4. Buffalo Jeans

in Jan 2008 got an email from Tom S., student in MGTC44 at UTSC, Tom says

"Hello Professor Richardson, Just a quick potential addition to your list of Canadian brands known outside of Canada: Buffalo: David Bitton (designer jeans)

David Bitton began designing and put out his line of jeans in Montreal (one of my sisters went to school with his daughters), and Buffalo - David Bitton now has stores in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Mexico, Cuba, Panama, El Salvador, the Philippines and Mexico. Personally, I'm not much for designer jeans, but the brand came to mind when reading that section on your website. Regards, Tom S"

WTGR adds, "Thanks Tom, I'll include it, but I am under the impression many think it comes from Buffalo, New York State... but that is just my personal opinion... just like Boston Pizza doesn't come from Boston, it was started by a bunch of Canadian guys in Edmonton"

5 Lear Jets (by Bombardier since 1990)

in Feb 2010 got an email from Felix C., student in MGTC44 at UTSC, Felix says

"When talking about the life of high-rollers (and off-the-scale bling
factor), private jet is a must for traveling in style and luxury.
Learjet, a company famously known for its "Learjet" business air
crafts, is (since 1990) a company, though not many people realize, of
Canadian ownership.

Currently, Learjet is owned by Bombardier (Hence, it being Canadian). The Learjet family consists of four models - All models have cruising speed of about 0.81 times speed of sound, which is comparable to commercial jet liners. The prices range form $5M USD to high $50M.

Trivia: The lyrics of Pink Floyd's "Money" makes reference to LearJet as a "First Class traveling set"

6. Magna

in Felix's Feb 2010 email about LearJet he also suggested auto parts company Magna is a good example of a famous Canadian brand.

Magna is known in the auto parts industry as Canaduan, BUT - it is widely diversified and has grown by acquiring many European companies that are still thought of as European.

There is now doubt Magna has done well.
There is no doubt that Canadians are proud of Magna
But, since it sells in a B2B (not B2C) market, its brand is maybe not in the mind of regular consumers

8. Inniskillin Icewine

student Tushar C. in MGTC44 at UTSC in early April 2010 emailed to say
"After doing research on Inniskillin Icewine, I feel as if this should be added to your list of Canadian brands known outside of Canada.  Wine enthusiasts around the world are aware of the fact that the finest Icewine is made in Canada due to our varying climate and since it is available in over 69 countries, sold on over 29 airlines, and is one of the leaders in terms of spirits sold in duty free shops across the world, I would have to say this is Canadian brand which is known internationally. "

WTGR adds "Don Ziraldo has almost single-handedly made this a Canadian brand and for that he and his company should be remembered among the list of Canadian brand makers"
- the pic supplied by Tushar was taken outside the Inniskillin winery to which his C44 group went as part of their C44 final project.

9. Canada Goose

Added by Student Shawn T. In June 2010
 I think Canada Goose would also make a great addition to your page on prominent Canadian Companies that are known outside of Canada

10. Canada Dry Giner Ale

Added by Christina C. In Jan 2011

Invented in 1904 by Canadian pharmacist and chemist, John J. McLaughlin of Enniskillen, Ontario (owned since 2008 by the Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group but originated in Canada)

11. IMAX

Added by Ida H. and Richard L. from MGTC46 in June 2011

Ida says "MAX is a Canadian system that was found in Montreal in 1967.
I went on their website to find that they have theatres all across the world: Canada, US, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, France, Italy, India, Japan, New Zeland, etc. I think this would be an excellent addition to your list of Canadian Brands known outside of Canada. IMAX theatres are becoming extremely popular as they are re-defining the movie theatre experience"

Richard added "A while ago, I went to watch a movie in IMAX at the Colossus movie theatre in Vaughan and prior to the start of the movie, they actually gave a brief introduction about the IMAX technology in terms of explain how the IMAX camera works and all that cool stuff. It took me by surprise when they told us that  the  company IMAX Corporation behind the IMAX motion picture films, was indeed a Canadian company and the technology was developed right here in Canada. Another point they mentioned that fascinated me was that on NASA's last flight to the Hubble Space Telescope, NASA crews brought along with them an IMAX 3D camera to capture stunning images of outer space. Talk about Canadian technology going far!"

12. Roots

Several students have questioned about Roots being added on to the list, for sure it is famous in Canada. Their website, in June 2011 says "40 locations in Asia with an additional 165 stores scheduled for grand opening in the next year." Roots is also well known for obtaining a high profile when they provide uniforms for the Canadian Olympic winter teams. Their website also boasts "Roots was recently selected as one of Canada's leading iconic brands in a major new study by Brand Finance Canada." 

No doubt they are famous in Canada, but what we are trying to do on our list is discuss Canadian brands, known as Canadian, which also do well outside of Canada.


Several students have said it is obvious that Blackberry should be added. I (WTGR) carry a Blackberry and am proud to show it to people outside of Canada, and I often hear "oh, I thought it was American, cause Obama carries one"

Well, yes, it is true that Blackberries are popular in the U.S. - but it is also true that they really don't make a big deal about the Canadian connection - I'm thinking that as long as Americans keeping buying them thinking it is "gool 'ol American technology", then that will make the people at R.I.M. happy.

Oh, and BTW, the "handheld smartphone" that POTUS carries is in fact a model that has been so tweaked and updated with security add-ons that it does not, in any way, resemble any blackberry that someone could buy anywhere in the world.

As for the marketing people at R.I.M., they are playing this "branding opportunity" very cool and saying they have no comment and referring all questions to the White House - which is what you do when the United States government is your largest corporate client.

So Blackberry deserves to be on the list cause it is a Canadian brand, and it is known outside of Canada, but it is not necessarily well known as being Canadian outside of Canada.
tell me if I am wrong from your experience

The top brands for 2010 (based on $CAD) include:
1.    Thomson Reuters
2.    TD
3.    RBC
4.    Blackberry
5.    Shoppers Drug Mart
6.    Tim Horton's
7.    Bell
8.    Rogers
9.    Scotiabank
10.    BMO
supplied by student Kenny in MGTC46 in March 2011

Labatts beer - nope - it is now owned by a European conglomerate
Molsons beer - no - merged with Coors in the U.S.

Four Seasons Hotels - well known around the world, but most people think it is a U.S. company

Chips ! - Humpty Dumpty Snack Foods Inc. - headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario with a strong market presence throughout eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. Not enough international activity to make it really famous worldwide