On a + note

“Your better starts here.” #40: 2012

Posted in on a + note by flickfancy on November 12, 2012

The iconic Canadian Tire purchased more than 500 Sport Chek and Athlete’s World stores for $771 million last May. With the new owners came the need for new branding, particularly with Target due to open in Canada in the spring of 2013.

Canadian Tire executives turned to marketing geniuses Sid Lee for advice. Their exhaustive market research indicated that consumers liked Sport Chek and Athlete’s World, but were not in love with them. (Translation: consumers weren’t opening their wallets.)  There was no emotional response or connection to the Sport Chek or Athlete’s World brands. As a result, consumers were browsing the stores and asking the staff for information and advice, but were not spending their hard-earned cash there.

Interestingly, Sid Lee’s marketing campaign did not focus on a specific sport (e.g. the thrill of hockey on a backyard rink or the adrenaline rush of heli-skiing), but rather focused on the positive impact sports have on one’s life and the self-improvement that activity brings. The print ads had no people, no sports gear, and no applauding crowd. Instead, there were breathtaking panoramic shots of great sporting locations, snow-capped mountains, shimmering lakes, and remote wilderness parks. The tag line was “Your better starts here.” In an environmentally conscious, self-improvement crazed country like Canada, it is a brilliant move!

So, why am I telling you this?

In many ways, libraries are like Sport Chek.  Maybe our new marketing strategy should focus on the rush our customers get from reading that new book, and perhaps our new tag line should be “Just like Canadian Tire, your better starts here.”

Just a thought, on a chilly Monday morning.

Kitty Pope                                                                                          #40 November 2012 kpope@library.guelph.on.ca


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