Ashlee Froese is an Osgoode Hall alumnus and currently practices intellectual property at the law firm of Keyser Mason Ball LLP.
Interbrand, a well reputed international company whose modus operandi is to analyze global brands, has recently released its bi-annual report on “Best Canadian Brands 2010”. Interestingly, despite the volatile and contentious economic climate in the last few years, Canada’s brands have fared well. Since Interbrand’s last study on Canadian brands released in 2008, Canada’s foremost brands have increased in value by over 35%. The biggest movers and shakers by far were in the finance industry where all five of the major Canadian banks increased their brand value, accounting for 42% of the growth of the top 25 brands recorded in this study. The report questions whether Canadians’ conservative and risk-averse tendencies have contributed to their overall success in the last two years.
Taking Canada’s Brands to the Global Streets
The overarching theme in Interbrand’s report is that although Canada’s brands are achieving success, that success is still contained to the Canadian market. Where 16 of the top 25 Canadian brands do operate outside of Canada, only a few have a well-developed recognition outside of Canada. BlackBerry and Thomson Reuters are two companies that exhibit such world-wide recognition. With an estimated brand value of $6 billion and $9.4 billion respectively, these are Canadian forces to be reckoned with on the international playing field. Manulife and Tim Hortons, on the other hand, struggle to bring their Canadian presence to the global market. Looking forward, successful consumer brands such as Lululemon and LaSenza are slated to become the next high profile global brands. For example, Lululemon has significant presence in the US, Australian and Hong Kong markets to the point that 40% of its total revenues come from outside of Canada.
Interestingly, although telecommunications companies such as Rogers, Bell and Telus have been insulated by protective government regulatory regimes, international competitors are nosing their way into the market causing concern that these companies’ competitive edge will be reduced.
The Nuts and Bolts of the Report
Interbrand set the following criteria in determining Canada’s most successful brands:
- First, obviously, the brand’s country of origin must be Canadian;
- Second, financial data must be publicly available;
- Third, there must be significant publicity behind the brand which would sway consumer’s purchasing decision; and
- Finally the revenue must outweigh the company’s operating and financing costs.
Interestingly, this criteria eliminated two prominent Canadian brands, Roots and Cirque du Soleil, as they are privately-held companies. Also, a number of airline brands were also eliminated based on the fourth criteria. Once the brands qualify, the strength of the brand in the overall consumer’s experience with the company along with the financial health in addition to the future perceived strengths of the brands were considered.
The top ten brands are as follows:
|Ranking||Brand||Value (in $m)||Previous Ranking in 2008|
|5.||Shoppers Drug Mart||3,425||4|
Although the following brands did not qualify according to Interbrand’s set criteria, they were given an honourable mention for their success.
- Canadian Tourism
- Cirque du Soleil
- Four Seasons
- Hudson’s Bay Company
Interbrand’s full report can be read here.