08 Oct How Canada Goose Became Synonymous With Made In Canada
In 2001, just after he took over the small family business, Dani Reiss decided to rebrand “Snow Goose” to “Canada Goose”, and commit to always producing their key product, parkas, in Canada. By identifying this clear purpose of quality homegrown apparel, Reiss formed the strategy of growth which continues in 2019, and a globally recognised luxury brand synonymous with its home country – “Made In Canada.”
In Japan and Europe, his parents’ company had to name their brand “Canada Goose” instead of the original name “Snow Goose” as it was already trademarked. While attending international trade shows, Reiss discovered the respect the customers had for the parkas because of their unique production from Canada with its traditionally cold temperatures. If these parkas were robust enough for the Canadian environment, they would stand the challenges the customers required.
So, the CEO began to rebrand the whole company as Canada Goose and worked on the strategy to fully reflect the values of “Made In Canada” – a quality luxury brand finely produced in Canada by specialist employees that would meet the needs of the customers in extreme cold temperatures.
Quality over Commodity: Reiss learned from the trade shows that the company’s parka was considered an investment, and therefore, the customers would pay more for the supply chain in Canada where the manufacturing and labour costs were more.
Home trained specialist-skilled personnel: The company established its own training colleges to ensure the employees would be specialists in their manufacturing skills particularly sewing which was being lost to other countries and cheaper labour. Now, the company trains individuals in each city where they have factories.
Empowering Dreams with Goose People: The Canada Goose company celebrates their Goose People – the explorers, athletes, film makers, dog sledders, and adventurers who take on their extreme challenges wearing Canada Goose clothing. By sponsoring these courageous individuals and teams, the company shows that people can achieve their dreams while wearing the renowned apparel. e.g. The company partnered with musher Lance Mackey who won the Iditarod and Yukon Quest dog sled races on four occasions, each time wearing Canada Goose apparel.
Testing the quality before purchase: In 2016, during the period of closures of physical clothing stores, Canada Goose actually opened its first shop in Toronto primarily to give customers the opportunity to try out their clothing in cold rooms with temperatures as low as -25 degrees Celsius so that customers can ensure they choose the most appropriate clothing for their needs. The company has now expanded to twelve experience related stores.
Our director, Heather Wright explains that finding our purpose and core values are essential for any of us in pursuing our goals, how we approach our leadership, strategies, and establishing a service, product or whole new business. As in the case of Canada Goose, the business and product may already be established. Finding the unique selling point in its global market was the inspiration for Dani Reiss to overhaul a small family business and form a holistic strategy for the whole company to become the enduring quality brand Canada Goose which we are familiar with today.
For more information about the story and values of Canada Goose please check their website www.canadagoose.com
Or please read the excellent profile by Dani Reiss in the latest edition of the Harvard Business review Sept/Oct 2019.