brand strategy

A Big Thank You to Molson Coors Canada, Pelmorex Media Inc., Petro-Canada Lubricants and Masque Bar Beauty (England)

We’d like to thank these incredible companies for choosing to join Spyder Works’ growing list of blue chip clients in 2014.  While their shapes, sizes and assignments are different, we are truly grateful for the singular trust that they have shown in our team.

At Spyder Works, we applaud (and love working with) action-oriented organizations.  They focus their abilities on acquiring and serving customers right now.  We open up new possibilities by helping those organizations to think and to act longer term.  Our value is to help them to enjoy better conversations and build more meaningful relationships with their customers and people as springboards for their future success.

Since our inception over 20 years ago, as a leading provider of creative design, we have been through the same transformative process ourselves. Spyder Works has evolved into a comprehensive provider of integrated business and design strategy, brand exploration and communication.

Our firm is grounded in three practices — brand, innovation and performance.

Brand is about building customer relationships. Innovation is about keeping them fresh. Performance is about keeping your team engaged in and delivering on the relationship’s promise. Together, they generate powerful, organization-changing ideas and difference-making implementation.

Launching a new brand? Grappling with a specific, skill-testing question or leading your organization through a fully transformative process?

At Spyder Works, we partner with national and international organizations and visionary entrepreneurs to articulate and to solve the business and brand challenges that keep you up at night.

Spyder Works.  Building Business by Design®.

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Starwood makes its brand memorable with music


Hotels are for sleeping. Hotels are for meetings. Hotels are for dining and getting together for a drink in the bar. And now, in a natural and intuitive brand extension, hotels are for music.

Through its Global Music Tour, the Starwood Preferred Guest Program is bringing internationally renowned artists to its hotels for the exclusive enjoyment of its guests. The tagline for the Tour is ‘Hear the music, see the world.’

Why is this brilliant?

Starwood Hotels are about experience and exploration. This meticulous brand has 1,175 properties in 100 countries, but they’re segmented into nine distinct banners that reflect the level of luxury and personal attention individual guests expect from a hotel. This tailored to measure approach to accommodation is a part of Starwood’s mission to deliver wonderful experiences to its guests.

Music, especially music that’s a three minute elevator ride from your room and created just for you, is an enriched and expanded experience. It is memorable because it puts Starwood’s international destinations to music.

Starwood is a believer in maintaining its connection with its customers through the Starwood Preferred Guest Program. With the Global Music Tour, the brand has found that elusive extra emotional hook.

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What do we want Made in Canada to mean to consumers?

Made In Canada Enamel Sign

‘Economic Action Plan 2014 announces that a private sector steering committee will be established to lead the development of a “Made-in-Canada” consumer awareness campaign.

‘…To help address the interests of consumers and highlight the quality and range of Canadian products, as we compete in more diverse export markets, the Government will undertake consultations with the private sector to develop a “Made-in-Canada” branding campaign…’

As a proud Canadian, my right-off-the-top-of-my-head reaction to this proposed campaign is wildly enthusiastic.  After all, we are most excellent shooters of pucks, drinkers of beer and extractors of petroleum.  We are growers of wheat, sayers of  “I’m sorry” and exporters of Arctic air masses.  We are Canadians and right now, at least, our national identity is about our success at hockey and freestyle athletes who spend much of their time in the air, upside down.  But this is more than own the podium.  This is a sustainable increase in sales.

The first of my whole cranium full of questions about this campaign has to do with who we are targeting.    The stated purpose is consumer awareness.  But to me, any Made in Canada program has to win the hearts and will of both manufacturers and their customers who each must believe that a Made in Canada logo will add cachet to whatever they’re trying to sell.   As Canadians, we love our country.  We’re proud of our country.  But, we’re also savvy enough to realize that a Made in Canada program has to stand for something beyond red mittens and waving the flag.

If we’re consulted at Spyder Works, and I hope we are, my first concern would be confusing Canada-the-country with Canada-the-manufacturer, exporter and purveyor of customer satisfaction.   Which positive attributes of a successful country contribute to the positive attributes of a brand?  Do Canadian companies reflect where they live?  And another question I have is whether Made in Canada is the same as Imagined in Canada ?  We have increasingly become a knowledge economy but many of our inventions, inspirations and innovations are actually made in China, or Mexico, or India.

If we are to put aside the Olympic celebration and ask what Canada really stands for, what are we really selling here?  On the plus side, we are an inclusive and diverse society that makes an honest effort to take compassionate care of our citizens.  We are brave peacekeepers.  We are well educated, creative and open-minded.  We are home to many well known global brands in many different categories like Lululemon, Roots, G Adventures, Bombardier, Blackberry, Agrium and Magna.   We are friendly and polite.  We are active and activists.

We talk a lot about innovation, but I don’t think the world necessarily notices.  But maybe, most noteworthy of all, with a population of 34 million, we are not a big country.  We are not Walmart or Home Depot.  We are more like a boutique with a hundred locations and we are not going to undersell anyone.  Maybe that’s what we need to talk about.  What is it about our Made in Canada boutique and Made in Canada logo that could excite our own Canadian companies, Canadian consumers and the rest of the world?

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