I’m so mad at Switzerland!

A Rant about Canadian Brands for Canada Day 2009

So you ask: “Mad at Switzerland? What could anyone possibly have against the Swiss” – those lovely Alp-ine purveyors of Rolex watches, visit this Nestle chocolate, and fastidiously discreet banking services? Sorry Switzerland. It’s not about you. It’s about you beating the pants off Canada in the global branding arena.

And to be fair, in the rant video attached you’ll note that I have equal opportunity anger issues against Sweden, Finland, and even my own ancestral homeland the Netherlands. And as you’ll see, it’s all because of their brands. Each of these countries punches far above their weight in the contest for the global brand belt. As you’ll see in the stats below, these countries even beat the heavyweight in the ring – the USA – when you take their population into account.

Global 100 chart

So why the anger?

Okay, I’m a Canadian. I’m not actually angry per se: just hurt, frustrated, envious, mildly apologetic, etc.

Actually, I want Canadian brand managers to stand up and take notice. We need to get more internationally respected / recognized brands. In this deck on SlideShare, you’ll find some supporting data (from Interbrand / Business Week) and my challenge to Canadian Brand Managers.

Go Canada!

What Canadian brands are Global candidates?

Fortunately, the good folks at Interbrand also published a helpful guide in 2008 for that as well.

Interbrand report on Canadian Brands.

The top ten

  1. Blackberry
  2. RBC
  3. TD Canada Trust
  4. Shopper’s Drug Mart
  5. Petro Canada
  6. Manulife
  7. Bell
  8. Scotiabank
  9. Canadian Tire
  10. Tim Horton’s

3 thoughts on “I’m so mad at Switzerland!”

  1. i think it’s important to note that the two brands that are on the list are communication-based brands, which speaks to the cultural-geographic divisions of canada and its multiculturalism. i also think that mcluhan would get a kick out of the media is the message in light of these brands, as well as their product.

    very nice rant, dennis. you have to consider though, that for us to beat the swiss, the swiss (and everyone else) will have to maintain their international branding.

  2. Kaitlin,

    Good points all.

    As a matter of fact your thought about communications being a “theme” among Canada’s marquee brands is something I’m going to blog about this week,

    As for the Swiss needing to maintain their position in order for my numbers to make sense, absolutely! That’s the added bonus of Canada getting more global brands on the list: every one knocks another country’s entry off – most likely a US or G8 brand.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *