Monday, 5 July 2010

Brand Canada, Brand Canada

I have a new piece out on The Mark, a leading online Canadian outlet for news and comment.

Check it out:

Making the "Brand Canada" Initiative Work

If Canada wants to brand itself successfully to the rest of the world, the effort needs to have some teeth. 

In his throne speech in March, Prime Minister Stephen Harper glowed, “Canada is poised to emerge from the recession powered by one of the strongest economies in the industrialized world.” Who wouldn’t show a little sparkle when the OECD remarks that Canada’s economy is “rebounding vigorously.” In The Economist last month, an article on Canada effusively praised our country:
“When Stephen Harper, the prime minister, hosts the get-togethers of the G8 and G20 countries next month he will be able to boast to his visitors that his country’s economy is set to perform better than that of any other rich country this year.”
Even I tingled a little when reading that. And who wouldn’t? It wasn’t too long ago that Canada’s debt peaked at $563 billion, in 1997. The unemployment rate in Canada often hovered around eight per cent, while in the U.S. the rate was nearer to four per cent. In many ways, Canada was the kid brother allowed to tag along at the G8 (or then G7) summits. So when Toronto hosted the G8 and G20 summits this past weekend, it was a moment for Canada to sit pretty (albeit with a billion-dollar price tag). A leading think tank, the Canadian International Council, recently got into the act promoting our new role with its Strategy for a Networked Age. The Mark even published a series of articles called”Brand Canada” to accentuate the current sexiness of our country. Yes, it is time for a campaign to brand Canada, particularly in a hyper-competitive global economy. Yet this effort needs to have teeth, be fully adopted by our government, and truly respond to the world around us. SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE (CLICK)

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