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

A modest proposal for General Motors and the new boss

So with all the kerfuffle around the GM bankruptcy (and the gajillions of dollars we’ll all be shelling out to save its butt from the fire), troche the one thing that gets forgotten as always is the brand strategy angle: 60-90 days from now, GM will be re-emerging from bankruptcy under a new coporate banner. Now, that could be a simple mechanical switch, but we at Brandvelope started thinking: what if the new boss has something to say about that?

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Trouble viewing the deck? Try this link instead:


Shameless plug

IABC Summit Pass winner and nice words from a client

Busy time here at Beg to Differ headquarters, treat with a few things to cover today: including the winner of the one-day pass to the 2012 IABC Canada Business Communicator’s Summit.

Photo by Antony Williams (antoneath on Flickr) – used with permission. Thanks Antony!

Winner of pass to



For any brand geeks (or serious professionals) in the Ottawa area, check
Brandvelope is partnering with the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation (OCRI) to deliver this event in May.