Why Are You Here? Get It In Writing.

[Cache #215]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

Why are you here?  Why do you do what you do?  What is your unique purpose in this life?  And why should anyone – most of all you – care?

I have asked variations of these questions many times on this blog, but today, change is in the air.  Summer has said goodbye.  The temperature is dropping, the colours are starting to change and a chilly wind blows.  So let’s get literal.  Just as I demonstrated two weeks ago how to articulate a position for your personal brand, this week I will share some simple techniques on how to express your personal core purpose.

(Then, in the next couple of weeks, I will share my methodology for articulating the character of your personal brand, and voila – you will have the tools to build your very own three-element personal brand foundation, one that can focus and drive all aspects of your life into next year and far beyond.)

What is a core purpose?  My mentor Ted Matthews long ago defined it as Why we (or I in the personal case) exist.  I have adapted the definition with my personal branding clients to Why I do what I do.  As I have also mentioned on this blog, Simon Sinek has achieved great traction by referring to your core purpose simply as your why.

And so your core purpose or why is the reason you get out of bed in the morning, and why anyone should care that you do.  It’s about what you fundamentally believe.  Critically, it is not about what you do.  Your what may be selling cars, or being an investment advisor, or a marketing executive or a stay-at-home mom.  And while it is great and in fact imperative that you have a what (otherwise you won’t have anything to do when you get out of bed), there are two problems with it.

First, your what is, in a word, boring.  It is uninspiring.  Much of this is due to the fact that your what is also, by definition, the same as every other car salesperson, investment advisor, marketing executive and stay-at-home mom.  And thus it is – if you want people to truly “get” you, recognize you as unique and resonate with your one-of-a-kind purpose on this planet – table stakes.

For those of you fortunate enough to have distance from corporate gobbledygook, table stakes is a metaphor from card games, defined as the minimum bet you must make to stay in the game.  And it is not just the minimum, it is the same as everyone else.

Enough with the branding gobbledygook.  With reference to some powerful core purpose statements written by clients of mine in the long term care industry, structure your core purpose in one of three ways.

Core purpose – why I do what I do

1. ”To…”
To share the burden as people walk the road they cannot change. (Linda, who works in palliative care)
To help people grow from where they are, to where they want to be. (Karen)
To change the perception of long term care from “dead end” to “high end.” (Debbie)

The “To” method is the most popular.

2. “I believe…”
I believe wholesome, nourishing food and enriching meal experiences are universal human rights. (Jane)

3. “Because…”
Because good enough isn’t good enough. (Steve)

And now some observations:
1. The statement tends not to be just about you, but about your role in helping others.  And yet, your core purpose is yours alone.  If your statement happens to be all about you, that is obviously and completely your decision.  Note, though, that its power to inspire others will be weakened.

2.  The statement must be one sentence, one sentence only, and be a short sentence at that.  Anything longer will be rambling and uninspiring.  And people, including you, will find it difficult to remember, further sapping its power.

Why do I do what I do?  Because I believe that every person – most certainly including you – has the right to experience the thrill of sharing their unique gifts with others.

Posted in brand differentiation, brand foundation, core purpose, health care, mission statements, mission/vision/values, personal branding, positioning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time for the Blue Jays Brand to Grow Up

[Cache #214]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

“Fans of the New York Yankees were in force at Rogers Centre in Toronto Wednesday night, for a crucial game against the Blue Jays.  Many were bearing the American flag, the Stars and Stripes, and waving it proudly in the stands.”

If you’re Canadian, how does that make you feel?

In truth, it probably ticks you off.  The nerve!  Coming up here and waving their flag in our faces.  Unbelievably rude.

Except that, as far as I’m aware – and I have attended several Jays games as they’ve dominated down the stretch – this did not happen.  When was the last time you saw an American waving his or her flag on Canadian soil?  Maybe at the Vancouver Olympics or the world junior hockey championships or the Pan Am Games, those events being more about nationalism than anything else.

Or maybe Americans have more social grace than Canadians like to imagine.  In fact, they do indeed have more civility than we do on this issue, because Jays fans were – and this did happen – seen at Yankee stadium last week waving the Maple Leaf.

As a Canadian, and as a Jays fan, it was embarrassing to watch.

Yankees fans evidently don’t feel the need to come to our building and wave the Stars and Stripes, because they are in attendance to represent their legendary team and their legendary city, not their country.  But evidently, for at least some of us, baseball is still – 22 years after winning the World Series twice in succession – about proving Canada can beat the US at its own game.

Which doesn’t make much sense, considering only three of the Jays’ 40 players are Canadian.  True, the owner of the Jays (Rogers) has positioned the brand as “Canada’s Team,” and the team’s logo bears a prominent maple leaf.  It seems safe to presume that Rogers has done this not out of national pride, but to make more money from more people across the country watching on their TVs, computers and mobile phones.  And yet, there is an undeniable Canadian aspect to the Jays’ brand, because people all over Canada love them, and because they are the only major league baseball team in this country.

But Canadian-ness should not be the team’s defining feature.

It made a lot more sense in 1992, when the Jays were driving to become the first non-American-based team in the history of Major League Baseball to win the World Series.  We could feel tradition tilting against us as interlopers; of course, if you are old enough, you remember the US Marines flying our flag upside-down.

But we demolished tradition.  We’ve been there.  We’ve done that.  We have the banners in the rafters to prove it.  We have a legacy – epitomized by Alomar, Carter and a truly shocking all-time roster of legendary players and their feats – that courses through the veins of every Jays fan who’s ever watched on TV or had the pleasure of seeing them play in person.

So now, 22 years later, let us play baseball, not politics.  Is our baseball team good enough to beat its opponent, or not?  To my mind, waving the Canadian flag at a Jays game is an instant admission of inferiority.  That we are not good enough.  That we need something extra – beyond the bounds of talent, and of pride in team and city.

The Number One Rule of Branding is:  Be Consistent.  A brand is what people think of you, after all, and if you keep changing the message, people won’t know what to think.  But sometimes brands and their fans outgrow their positioning.  Sometimes they mature.  And one would hope that in these more-than two decades, we have become confident enough as Torontonians and sufficiently self-assured as Canadians – and jingoistic just as Jays fans – that we can just play ball.

On CBC Radio One re Volkswagen, and in the National Post re Mac’s convenience stores.

NEW VIDEO: Check out my presentation in Houston earlier this year (to client USG) on what a brand really is.  (For the abbreviated version, start at 3:45 and stop at about 6:00.  For the longer version, watch the whole thing.)

Posted in brand differentiation, confidence, consistency, logos, positioning, rebranding | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

What Kind of Person Are You? Two Ways to Tell.

[Cache #213]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

For the first 12 of my 13 years so far in the branding business, I had a certain complex.

I thought I was the only one in the relationship who could write a client’s company or personal brand foundation.  Comprised of elements like their position, for example, which is the definitive statement on how they are different from everyone else in their business and possibly the entire world.

It took 12 years of writing clients’ brand foundations to realize that really, there are only a small number of buckets into which things like position statements fall.  And therefore that I can show my clients what the buckets are – and then, for creative inspiration, I can show them some examples of position statements I have written in said buckets.

So now, my clients can pen their own position.  Many of my personal branding clients have done so already.

Their work has been sensational.

Like Cindy, The Silver Lining Specialist.  Or Angela, The Financial Decoder.  Or Enzo, The Non-Accountant Accountant.  Or Victoria, The Wall Crusher (do not mess with this lady).  Or Agnes, the Memory Maker (actually, it would be a good idea not to mess with this lady either).

Each of these corporate executives, from the health care industry, wrote their position statement themselves.  You may recognize that the common strain among the statements is that each refers to its owner as a noun.  Indeed, each was authored by its owner through reference to the bucket that I call ”I am a noun.”

The other approach I teach is the ”My unique offering is” bucket.  As shown by Eric: I put the fun into finance.  And Jane:  A secret recipe of people, products and technology.  And Alicja: My strong convictions lead the way.  And Beryl: Freedom within a framework.

Want to write your own position statement?

First, be clear on what a position is:

  • It is a statement of how you are different, now.
  • Or, it’s at least a statement of how you want to be known as different, even if you are not quite there now (but you need to get there soon).
  • It does not have to be totally unique.  Subway’s position is all about fresh food, after all, in a world where fresh would seem to be the minimum standard.  But it’s essential that if you want to own your statement in this fashion, you must ”live” it.


Next, ask yourself some questions:

  • What immediately comes to mind when people think about me?  To find out, query some people who’ll be brutally frank with you.  Better yet, get someone else to do the questioning.
  • Then ask yourself:  what do I want people to think about me in the near future and ongoing?


Then use these writing techniques to ensure your statement has maximum impact:

  • It must be one sentence, or even an incomplete sentence.
  • Keep it short – really short – so people (including you) can remember it, and start to use it when they refer to you.


And finally, what to do with your position statement?  

  • Put it next to your name in your LinkedIn profile, like Krista has done here.
  • And at the top of your bio, like Scott has done here.
  • Put it in your email signature and make sure your signature is at the bottom of every single email you ever send, from whatever device you send it.  It’s amazing how few people even have the most basic contact information at the bottom of their emails.  This is such a simple way for you to stand out and, in addition, take the shocking step of making it easy for people to reach you.
  • Make it part of a full brand foundation, like Brian has done here.


Far more important:  live up to your position every day.  Lavish the world with your unique gifts, and you will be one step closer to fulfilling your highest potential.

NEW VIDEO: Check out my presentation in Houston earlier this year (to client USG) on what a brand really is.  (For the abbreviated version, start at 3:45 and stop at about 6:00.  For the longer version, watch the whole thing.)

Posted in brand foundation, personal branding, positioning | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The End of 9/11

[Cache #212]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

When you went to bed last night, did it even occur to you that today would be September 11th?

Not to me.  I am amazed that until almost 9am today, it did not cross my mind for a moment that this is the anniversary of the deeply shocking and frightening experience of 2001.  I only realized when typing the date of today’s post into Mailchimp, the service I use for distributing this blog.

It would seem that the searing bewilderment, anger and anguish has faded in the public consciousness as well, if that can be gauged by today’s media coverage.  While each of the biggest three New York papers – the Wall Street Journal, the Times and the Daily News – has some 9/11 coverage, none are running it as their top story.

CBC.ca is giving it similarly secondary coverage – except for one major, remark-able story. Remark-able because out of the ashes it has found a positive, uplifting narrative.  The story is that of the “9/11 babies,” those children born in the United States on September 11, 2001.  There are approximately 13,000 of them.  They are now, of course, 14 years old.  Some, as the piece points out, are taller than their mothers.  Or flashing braces.

But here is the most striking thing about these kids.  They do not regard the date of their birth as a negative thing.

This is most unexpected.  Fourteen years ago, or 10 or even five years ago, would you have wanted your child’s birthday – or your wedding date – to be on September 11?  Some people surely would have considered such a coincidence to be almost a curse.

But the 9/11 babies relate their birthday to goodness.  They relate it to the helpful and volunteer spirit that gripped the United States, Canada and much of the world on 9/11 and in the days and months afterward.  Today, many of them are taking part in 9/11 Day, “a global campaign that promotes charitable engagement and good deeds to memorialize the goodness that pulled the world together following the September 11 attacks.”

Hillary, for example.  ”A lot of people, when they hear I was born on 9/11, it brings smiles to their faces because they realize that something very bad happened that day, but it was also a day when some good things happened.”

And then there is Trevor.  He was born in Pennsylvania and is in Manhattan today, ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange with a group of other 9/11 babies.  He will also be volunteering at a food bank.  ”When people hear about my birthday, it’s like, ‘Wow!’  They’re amazed.  But it’s not really weird.  I think it’s a good thing to have a birthday on this day.  9/11 Day is about helping out the community.”

As a name, 9/11 is a deeply powerful one (see Cache #38, published September 10, 2011 - ”Why do we call 9/11 9/11?”).  But Trevor has done something interesting with it.  Assuming he was quoted directly, he sees 9/11 not necessarily as 9/11, but as 9/11 Day, a moniker which means fundamentally something else.

As he put it, it means helping out the community.  He would be unlikely to disagree that its abiding message is one of love and hope, not of hatred and despair.  It could also mean that in another 14 years, or even in another 10 or five, 9/11 as a name will be no more.  That 9/11 Day, with its quite different meaning, will be the final, enduring thing to rise from the ashes.

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The Self-Demolition of Donald Trump

[Cache #211]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

No opponent, whether in the Republican or Democratic parties, whether in the press or in the public, is going to take down Donald Trump.

Instead, America’s Rob Ford will do it himself.  The mechanism will be his infinitely brittle ego, a wildly overblown sense of personal brand which he expresses not only in the form of the hate spewing with regularity from his mouth, but also to which he has attached a precise value.  The figure is $3.3-billion – the single largest component of his self-reported net worth of $9-billion.

Forbes, which for decades has been regarded as the global authority on estimating how rich the world’s richest people really are, and which has been tracking Trump’s finances for more than 30 years, begs to differ in the extreme with Donald’s rosy self-assessment.  They calculate his net worth at $4.1-billion, of which just $125-million (admittedly still a ton of money) can be attributed to Trump’s personal brand (See Trump Exaggerating His Net Worth [By 100%] In Presidential Bid).

To initiate the self-destruction of someone so self-absorbed, Donald’s opponents need only light the fuse, which eventually, will be done by pointing out with persistence that Trump’s businesses have declared bankruptcy four times, most recently in 2009.  TV personality Rosie O’Donnell sent Trump into skyscrapers of rage in 2006 when she claimed he had declared bankruptcy (it is unclear whether she claimed he had declared personal bankruptcy [which he had not] or not).  Donald’s thoughtful response was to call Rosie “fat” and “a real loser,” threaten legal action and exploit her self-acknowledged body-image issues to bully her without mercy, online and off, to this day.

Rosie may be a brawler in her own league, but she is but a powder puff compared to someone like Hillary Clinton or any number of Trump’s seasoned Republican adversaries, who could use Donald’s business struggles to undermine claims of self-competence so pristine, they make a North Korean dictator look like a shrinking violet.

And so it is not the fact that Trump has had failures – every entrepreneur has – but that there is an Achilles heel to his supposed multi-billion-dollar personal brand, one which will destroy his presidential ambitions:  an utter deficit of humility.

With thanks to subscriber Susanne for the inspiration.

Posted in brand character, brand equity, personal branding | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Google, Alphabet Might Spell Trouble

[Cache #210]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

Really?  They forgot to Google it?

Not likely.  Still, many are dumbfounded this week at Google’s introduction of a new holding company name, Alphabet.  My first Google search of the story led to The New York Times, which had already pointed out that BMW had a brand with the same name.

BMW, you may have heard, is in the car business.  An ad for their Alphabet brand describes the offer as “leasing”, “fleet management” and ”mobility solutions.”  And as the Times reports, “Google is involved in the auto industry.  It offers a version of the Android operating system for use in cars and has done extensive research on self-driving vehicles.”

So will BMW launch a trademark infringement action against Google?  Will Google’s Alphabet, as the Times headline cleverly suggested, get some letters? (Check out, by the way, one of the most remark-able domain names of all time:  www.abc.xyz)

Maybe.  The key legal question is to what degree there is a “likelihood of confusion.”

There is Dove soap and Dove chocolates.  There is VIA coffee and VIA Rail. There is Triumph motorcycles and Triumph bras.  Adrian Kaplan, Coin’s legal contact and an intellectual property specialist at Piasetzki Nenniger Kvas, says this:  ”The fact is that no one can monopolize a word of the English language as a trademark.  Different legal entities can use the same trademark without there being a likelihood of confusion if the nature of the goods and services and the channels of trade through which they travel are sufficiently different.”

Adrian went on to point out that there are already five separate legal entities in Canada with an allowed or registered trademark for the word “alphabet.”

I think it will come down to this:  if Google wants to use Alphabet for its car business, they will face a trademark infringement action from BMW.  As Adrian advises, “Just because Google may be involved with cars in one area of their business does not make their use of Alphabet in another area of the business, having nothing to do with cars, an act of infringement.”

My advice?  Fasten your seatbelts.

Posted in brand names, remark-able, trademarks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five Ways to Look as Smart as (or Smarter Than) You Are

[Cache #209]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

Recently I told a colleague that I didn’t think a particular person was especially bright or helpful.

My colleague, who I respect as very bright indeed, expressed surprise at my point of view.  He had spoken with this person on the phone a number of times, and found him to be “really helpful and quite funny.”

Why the difference of opinion?  Because I had never spoken to this person.  I had only exchanged email with him.  And his email style – blunt, grammatically incorrect, no salutation, no please and thank you – made him, in my opinion, look uncaring and stupid.

In fairness, our communications technology is making us all look stupider every day.  For the past two years, for example, I have had a Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone.  Now, because the sharp minds at Samsung decided to “upgrade” my operating system, I have a Samsung Galaxy Note stupidphone.  The new operating system works in slow motion, which has dumbed-down the predictive text feature.  Yesterday, for example, I sent a text apologizing to a friend for my Buffy:

Of course, I was walking at the time of that text, highlighting the obsession many of us have with responding in a kneejerk fashion to every missive – email, text, Facebook, Twitter, whatever – sent our way.

Then there is an additional challenge posed to all English-speaking individuals who are not American, or at least do not desire to spell like one:  the predictive text and autocorrect features on smart/stupidphones are defaulted to the American way.  So Canadians or Brits, for example, have to either type quickly and seem like they cannot spell or do not know which citizenship they possess, or, take the (interminable!) time to go back and fix the instances of color, favor, humor, etc. that pepper their messages.

Because, ultimately, it does come down to spending a bit more of the most precious resource we have:  time.  It takes a bit more time to employ these Five Ways to Look as Smart as (or Even Smarter Than) You Are:

Five Ways to Look as Smart as (or even Smarter Than) You Are

  1. Begin each email with a salutation.  This could be Hello, Hi, Dear, or simply the name of the person you are communicating with, followed by a comma or dash.
  2. Use periods at the end of your sentences. Missing periods give the impression that you do not especially care about the person you are communicating with.  They are the equivalent in speech of not bothering to finish your sentence.
  3. Spell words correctly.  Even more than missing periods, misspellings indicate that you do not care about your partner in communication.
  4. Adjust your level of formality to your audience. On the matter of spelling, for example, tip 3 doesn’t apply if you’re communicating with someone with whom you have a very close relationship, one in which it is no longer important to prove you respect each other.
  5. Most important of all, especially if you choose to ignore any or all of the above:  make your mother proud and say “please” and “thank you,” politeness and appreciation being almost dead in the online sphere.


Except for “please” and “thank you,” these tips apply to a lesser degree to text and Facebook messaging – and pretty much everything can be thrown out the window on Twitter.  The whole point of those messaging modes is that they’re open, spontaneous lines of communication.  Know that when you make a Facebook update, however (being a communication that is not purely private), you will be judged by your “friends” on your ability to spell and use proper punctuation.

Email, social media, smart/stupidphones and our frenetic lifestyles have changed the way we communicate.  What has not changed – what will never change – is our need to be appreciated, and therefore, our constant measuring of whether we are.

Posted in brand character, personal branding | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Winnipeg” and “Vacation” is Not an Oxymoron. Really.

[Cache #208]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

This week, I am enjoying a vacation in and around Winnipeg.

Many people, as they made clear to me in advance, consider this to be a contradiction in terms.

A brand is what people think of you – and this city, arguably, has the worst brand of any major city in Canada.



Is it the supposed mosquitoes?  This year is perhaps my 5th visit in the last 10 years to my aunt’s cottage on Lake Winnipeg (which my fellow smug Torontonians will most certainly not recognize as being bigger than Lake Ontario), and the bugs have been bad but once.  In fact they are nothing compared to the annual dark clouds of mosquitoes (preceded in the spring by black flies) that descended upon my family’s past lakefront home just minutes north of Ottawa in idyllic Chelsea, Quebec.

Is it the snow and cold?  Calgary, on September 8 last year – two weeks before the end of summer – got 8 cm of snow.  Winnipeg’s first significant snowfall was almost three months later, on November 29th.  But short summers and brutal winters are not a dominant part of the Calgary narrative, that city overall having a very positive brand in Canadian minds.  Although in fairness, with an average January low of -23C, it cannot be denied that Winnipeg is bloody cold.  But then again, we are Canadians, people.  Buck up.

So, why is Winnipeg’s brand so bad?  And what are your ideas – completely practical or totally outrageous – for how it can be made better?

Coin Branding president Andris Pone is co-author of the Globe and Mail #1-bestselling Brand: It Ain’t the Logo and appears as a branding expert on CBC’s The National, CBC Radio One, the Globe and Mail, National Post and other media outlets.

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Lululemon Beer? It’s a Stretch.

[Cache #207]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

Of women who drink, 70% don’t drink beer.  Most Lululemon customers are women – women who take careful care of their health.  And women who take careful care of their health drink even less booze and hence less beer.

These would not seem to be a winning background of facts against which to launch a Lululemon craft beer, Curiosity, this summer in British Columbia.  And then there is the Lululemon Manifesto, which famously said that ”Coke, Pepsi and all other pops will be known as the cigarettes of the future.  Colas are not a substitute for water.  They are just another cheap drug made to look great by advertising.”

To be fair, this element of the Manifesto was removed in 2008, as part of a regular update to keep the message fresh, said CEO Bob Meers.  But for the company that proudly made that proclamation to then put its name on an alcohol product is a curious brand extension indeed.

But wait: company founder Chip Wilson famously blamed the size of women’s thighs for his yoga pants falling apart.  Could Curiosity be the vanguard of Chip’s diabolical plan to help women pack on the pounds, ruin their $100 stretch pants and run (slowly) to the store for a new (larger) pair???

Probably not, at least in part because Chip finally stepped down from the board this year.  It is rather more likely that Lululemon is simply trying to reach out to an audience they see as having very high growth and profit potential:  men.  And men do in fact drink beer.  These “Lulule-men” comprise a small, but growing, slice of Lululemon’s customers, and will soon be served by men’s only stores, starting in Manhattan.

For those who drink it, beer is one of life’s great pleasures.  Nonetheless, there is a serious inconsistency between Lululemon’s priceless health/wellness/empowerment positioning and a product that stands alone among alcohol offerings as being practically synonymous with getting fat.

Which will soon have Curiosity, to something considerably less than widespread disappointment, flat on the mat.

With thanks to subscriber Marnie Grona for this story idea.  Have an idea of your own?  Let me know.

Coin Branding president Andris Pone is co-author of the Globe and Mail #1-bestselling Brand: It Ain’t the Logo and appears as a branding expert on CBC’s The National, CBC Radio One, the Globe and Mail, National Post and other media outlets.

Posted in brand names, consistency, mission/vision/values, positioning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Kanye West Proves Canadians Are the Most Americanized People On Earth

[Cache #206]

By Andris Pone – President, Coin Branding

This is why the United States, and much of the world, regards Canada as America’s 51st state – and much of Canada feels the same way.

Questions of whether Kanye West has any talent, or whether he is a complete jerk, are completely beside the point.  If you’re a Canadian and reading this, and John Lennon and George Harrison came back from the grave to join the Beatles in headlining the Pan Am closing ceremonies, would you support the idea?  Naturally your answer would be “no”, because to the host nation goes the right to showcase strictly homegrown talent, a right that no real country would regard as unimportant.

Kanye West Taylor Swift

Canada showcased its plethora of talent at the opening and closing ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and you didn’t see the London 2012 organizers squeezing Elvis clips betwixt Paul McCartney, Muse, The Who, Pink Floyd, Queen, Mr. Bean, the London Philharmonic, Monty Python or any of the myriad other breathtaking acts that made mincemeat  – nay, Spam – of the claim that Beijing couldn’t be outdone.

But it’s apparently OK to bring in as headliner the American West, because we’re just America’s farm team.

Of course it could be that Canada is not at fault here, but just Toronto.  It could be that Toronto, the most desperate of all Canadian cities to be branded American, and blinded by its need to be compared to New York and Chicago, thought nothing of the cultural coup d’état of making Kanye the Games’ biggest star.

But there is also an utterly alternative way to look at this whole thing:  that Canada is a mature, self-confident country with no need to project its brand outward.  A country unconcerned that the millions watching on TV will either assume Kanye is a Canadian, or that Canada has no one even remotely as talented to carry the weight of top billing.

The truth is probably an unfortunate hybrid:  that Toronto and Canada don’t sufficiently care – not because they are confident, but because they are oblivious.

See the petition to replace Kanye, now at 37,000 “signatures”.

Past Cache editions about Canada’s brand:
Is Canada’s Brand a Joke? November 2013
Viva La Lululemon January 2014
Sochi: A Bargain at Twice the Price February 2014
The Hip Anomaly:  Does Canada Even Have a Brand for Netflix to Kill? October 2014
Tim Hortons: Brazilian as a Bikini Line December 2014

Coin Branding president Andris Pone is co-author of the Globe and Mail #1-bestselling Brand: It Ain’t the Logo and appears as a branding expert on CBC’s The National, CBC Radio One, the Globe and Mail, National Post and other media outlets.

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