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Title: Century 21
Location: Scott Block Theatre
Breakfast: Canem Systems

Our April SMBRD was kind of a bittersweet one. We celebrated our 60thbreakfast, which is five years of bringing you monthly opportunities to network, learn and drink coffee. We couldn’t have grown to where we are today without our fearless leader, Brenda, who sadly has decided to step down from the committee to focus on new projects. We sent Brenda off with some kind words, funny stories, and a whole lot of guilt. She’s left some big shoes to fill and we hope that we can continue to do as good of a job as she has done connecting our community month after month.

That aside, we were pretty excited to have Sabrina McAllister, Steven Kwasny and Christina Verticchio, some members of the 2019 Canada Winter Games talk to us about branding. It was hard not to get a little emotional thinking about all of the brand elements that go into such an event and we’re excited for our little city to feel the magic of the Games next year.

So, what goes into building a brand on such a huge level?

  • Learn who your audience is – the Games have many different audiences, from athletes to spectators and internal and external stakeholders.
  • Identify your strengths and weaknesses – any marketing plan needs to start with the classic SWOT analysis.
  • Create your brand persona – every brand has one.

  • Consistency – be deliberate about how you talk, how you look, and how you interact, in everything that you do
  • Have a plan – break down the phases of your campaign, what your goals are and what needs to be done at each stage.

Of course, a huge part of the Games brand is the mascot, Waskasoo, loved by young and old alike. A lot of thought and planning went into creating a lovable character that has become a local celebrity. Waskasoo merchandise has outsold all games gear from 2017 already and there’s still another Christmas season of sales left. Waskasoo has even proven to be more popular than the most popular children’s characters and received more Christmas party invitations than anyone we know. No matter who is in the costume, Waskasoo will always be Waskasoo, with his on-point dance moves and his sideways door shuffle. This is where consistency really comes to life.

We think that the 2019 Canada Winter Games is doing such a fantastic job of building a brand in our community that we are excited about and have provided us with some insight to consider when building our own brands whether they’re on a national scale or a much smaller scale. In summary, when building a strong brand, have a vision, know your audience, make a plan, be authentic, be in the right place at the right time, be flexible and have fun.”


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