The Canada Brand
By Canadian Packaging StaffGeneral Adculture Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Canada Brand Canada Brand has 500 members
Designed for Canadian foods and agricultural products, the Canada Brand celebrates Canada's positive global image to market goods.
There is, of course, a Canada Brand out there, a strategy created to gain recognition for Canadian food and agriculture products in key markets.
First conceived of in 2003, the Canada Brand is part of the agricultural policy framework, as a way to help Canada’s agriculture and food sector differentiate itself in the international marketplace.
According to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada senior media relations officer Patrick Girard, “The Canada Brand attributes and strategy were then developed based on market research and industry collaboration.
“The Canada Brand was officially launched for industry’s use in 2006.”
According to the government agency, it wants people to instinctively decide that Canada’s diverse selection of agriculture and food products will meet or exceed their expectations every time.
Because a country’s image can influence customer decision-making, the Canada Brand strategy builds on that positive Canadian image to help differentiate its agriculture and food products from the competition.
The goal is to help Canadian organizations link Canada’s image more closely to their food products, because even though Canada has a great global reputation, it is still not well-known for the majority of its food and agriculture products.
A suite of tools has been developed to help Canadian companies and associations adopt the strategy and build a strong brand for Canada’s food and agriculture sector in global and domestic markets.
Taken from the Canada brand website, it notes that some of these tools include:
• a brand promise that defines who we are and what we want to continue to be known for;
• graphics that communicate the brand — design built around the maple leaf, the most recognizable of Canadian symbols;
• a unique tagline: Quality is in our nature — which evokes key elements of the brand;
• a professional food and agriculture photo bank featuring landscapes and food photos (100% Canadian content);
• domestic and international on-going consumer and buyer market research to help you position your products in various markets;
• design templates for promotional and marketing tools that positively differentiate Canadian agri-food products from imports at the retail level, both internationally and domestically;
• an assigned branding officer to assist you with your branding efforts and design/layout assistance at the click of a button.
Branding The Canada Brand
According to Girard, the firm AdCulture—a professional marketing consultancy specializing in North American agricultural and agri-food sectors—was engaged through a competitive process to develop the Canada Brand suite of graphics.
After building on market research, and conducting focus group testing, it formulated the current graphics and tagline ‘Quality is in our Nature’ in key international markets.”
Successful organizations develop strong brands that communicate to their customers who they are and why customers should purchase their products. What a company stands for is captured in its Brand Promise: “We are committed to earning our customers’ trust in Canadian agriculture and food products every day through our relentless pursuit of excellence in all that we do.”
The Canada Brand Promise is based on quantitative research conducted with consumers and commercial food buyers in Canada’s key food and agriculture export markets.
The brand promise is closely linked to its attributes, wanting customers everywhere (both locally and abroad) to know that:
• our (Canadian) products are excellent;
• as a multi-cultural country, we focus on customers and respond to the needs of our international clients;
• as an industry, we are committed to continuous improvements;
• rigorous systems back the Canadian food and agriculture sector;
• our clean and pristine landscape provides ideal growing conditions.
Since its official launch in 2006, the Canada Brand initiative has seen a growing number of companies and industry associations sign-on to use the Canada Brand.
The Canada Brand is available for use by Canadian companies, who must sign a “Usage Agreement” to obtain the rights to use the protected Canada Brand graphics and other tools and services.
Girard says that as of 2013, “there are approximately 560 industry members that have signed on to be able to use the Canada Brand graphics and tools.”
Earlier this year, the Regina, Sask.-based Koko Pâtisserie became the 500th official company to gain the Canada Brand, is , after seeing the branding on in-store promotions, as well as on products at trade shows.
Additional information on how to apply to become a member of the Canada Brand and access the free tools and services available through the initiative can be found at www.marquecanadabrand.agr.gc.ca.