June 13, 2007

Branding Canada

I was at a conference organized by Cata a couple of weeks back. Lots of people from all around, regions, provinces, regional organizations, and the representatives from the federal level as well. Lots of people from disparate background who wants to see the Canadian brand get more recognition in the US and I hope the world. We have a big challenge in our business, the Product Development Business I mean. It's plain and simple the biggest market out there doesn't have a clue about Macadamian. We're still a small player, so we depend heavily on Canada has our brand to do some leg work for us. The problem is Canada is not known as PDO destination - market for which I believe strongly the country is very well positioned to be very successful. The challenges to get canada known in the PDO space are enormous, the conference drove the point home for me - coordinating all this effort is like herding cats.

I will sounds like a broken record to some, I've been trying to drive the following point home in conferences like cata for a couple of years - I believe, as a country we need to take a page from the India and New Zealand playbook - India because they network like crazy and they understand the value of networking within India and through their ex-pats network. New Zealand because they have a program to encourage their youngsters to go and travel the world. When you think about it - when 20-25yrs old travel internationally to get exposure to the world, work abroad in a professional job this is a win all the way for canada if we're smart about it. Should they decide to come back, we have people in Canada with international exposure, making our businesses better, more competitive. Should they decide to stay abroad, then it's one connection that canadian businesses can tap to get into this international destination. Canada needs to be smart about its ex-pats, and we need to encourage people going abroad. So what do we need to do to get this rolling?

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