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Halifax-Moncton Economic Growth Corridor Strategic Communications Implications December, 2002


Introduction Project Objective: To conduct a preliminary assessment of the H-M EGC brand assets, and to provide some potential positioning directions. It is recommended that this be followed by the development of a cohesive, coherent and customer-driven brand strategy, and brand implementation plan to launch the positioning. Methodology: The initial brand audit findings and resulting recommendations are based on the following: the Shift Central asset mapping summary Stakeholder planning sessions Preliminary benchmarks with other corridor initiatives


Introduction The Key To Building Powerful Brands: The strength of a brand greatly exceeds the power of its name or logo Strength comes from - Stakeholder relevance and the consistency of delivery at every touch point Full organizational support, nurtured at all levels, across all departments/ partnerships across the region Organizational, operational and cultural alignment around the brand values to bring the promise to life.

MAPPING THE BRAND STRATEGY The strength of a brand is a total experience influenced by every point of contact between the stakeholder and the brand: 

MAPPING THE BRAND STRATEGY The strength of a brand is a total experience influenced by every point of contact between the stakeholder and the brand BRAND Marketing communications Advertising Promotion Brochures, Web site Events Corporate / public relations Investor relations Sponsorships Public presence Physical experience Visual Identity Logo Colors Internal communications Training Culture / HR Incentive & Rewards Naming Corporate name Product structure Corporate signature

Brand Fundamentals: 

Brand Fundamentals The Positioning: Unique space you want to occupy in your industry as perceived by your customers Represents the core promise or essence of your company, product or service The fundamental message we convey in all aspects of communication with our stakeholders Must differentiate us from our competitors Neither a slogan nor a corporate signature Specifically: The Halifax-Moncton Corridor must articulate its place and value vis-à-vis: Other corridors Other peripheral economies in the Maritimes, Atlantic Canada, Northeastern U.S. The principal issues of Economic Development of the time

Brand Fundamentals: 

Brand Fundamentals Personality: A personality defines who we are: It’s the reflection of our behaviour, our character and our manner, plus our tone, style and difference The style and manner in which the core promise is delivered It defines the style (look) and tone or all our communications and culture

Benefits of a strong brand: to H-M EGC: 

Benefits of a strong brand: to H-M EGC Identification Differentiation Premium Understanding Attractiveness Clarifies corporate identity so customers identify and find us Gives the company/entity a reason for being that sets it apart from the competitive set Develops a competitive advantage that is based on the core attributes Creates perceived added value that supports a premium advantage Ensures clarity, facilitating internal decision making process, from product development to communication support Allows for current and future citizens/stakeholders to associate themselves with the brand Can become an internal/external rallying cry

Benefits of a strong brand: to investors: 

Benefits of a strong brand: to investors Simplification Satisfaction Guarantee Relevance Facilitates choice for investor who is faced with increasingly complex array of offerings Reinforces investors’ decision, pre and post involvment Ensures same level of quality at all points of contact with the brand (products, services, sales people etc.) Ensures high degree of relevance to a specific target’s needs




TOTAL BRAND EXPERIENCE PLANNING Our Total Convergence Planning™ process is a practical, highly interactive, proven method of surfacing, testing and validating unique brand properties which form the basis of an organization’s brand strategy. A disciplined, flexible collaborative approach is at the core of the process. Our goal is “client self-sufficiency”, achieved by involving clients at every stage of discovery and development.


Building the Brand Pyramid Brand Features (Proof Points to delight stakeholders) Non-Functional Brand Benefit (How a stakeholder feels) Stakeholder Value/Experience (What stakeholder value it touches) Price of entry for the category The rational expression of the brand The emotional expression of the brand Basis for connection Category Context (Tablestakes) Functional Brand Benefit (What a stakeholder gets) Functional brand features



Where we are now: 

Where we are now Asset mapping suggests opportunity for viable, marketable Corridor Internal stakeholders are currently meeting to agree on: qualitative and quantitative goals makeup of the Corridor strategy for growth

Where we need to get to: 

Where we need to get to Build an organization to meet stated goals Develop a sustainable brand (a customer-driven positioning and personality) and secure a powerful value proposition, by: determining an emotional expression of the brand creating a basis for the connection with the business customer/investor Develop and implement a strategic marketing plan to attract investors to the Halifax-Moncton Economic Growth Corridor to help determine the optimal way to express the proposition - as delivered through the brand to the investor Communicate and increase awareness around the brand to: resonate strongly with all internal and external stakeholders attract potential new customers/investors differentiate this Corridor from other competitors competitively position the Corridor within the market begin to position the H-M EGC as the Corridor of choice

How do we get there: 

How do we get there Determine the Corridor’s goal and criteria for success Uncover the brand’s key equities for growth from an internal stakeholder perspective, i.e. where do you want to be in 2008 what are the positive and negative forces impacting growth and achievement of these goals Develop positioning hypotheses Undertake primary research with key stakeholders Construct the brand


Key Facts The most viable strategy for stimulating economic growth in the region is by attracting outside investment Asset mapping enables us to re-focus on opportunities (I.e. local growth sectors such as food and woodworking; local weak points such as immigration) Key Assumptions There are multi-layers of political support behind the development of the Corridor Communities and residents will be supportive of growth and change in their region Further investment will be made in developing and implementing a solid marketing strategy to generate awareness and stimulate interest Our assets are both competitive and unique


SWOT Analysis - STRENGTHS Labour Force Significant and growing population base (633,045) an advantage for employers Mobile population (a lot of migration within the corridor) Highest concentration of students and education resources than any other province or state A working population with the attendant skills Asset Heavy for the Region Bulk of existing population and population growth Bulk of Students Commerce Links to thriving rural communities Movement Already Exists in the Corridor Population movement Commerce

SWOT Analysis STRENGTHS, cont’d: 

SWOT Analysis STRENGTHS, cont’d Low Cost of Resources Inexpensive development costs: land, construction, leasing, utilities Lower average wage costs Abundant Intellectual Capital Concentration of learning institutions Impressive undergraduate and graduate-level enrollment Abundant Natural Resources Sound Infrastructure Telecommunication Education Transportation within and without the region, including proximity to markets

SWOT Analysis - STRENGTHS, cont’d: 

SWOT Analysis - STRENGTHS, cont’d Existing Industry sectors: Food Energy Manufacturing Education and eLearning Life Sciences etc Attitude A new spirit; Willingness to Change Quality of Life International linkages In-migration from both Canada and international sources International student population International linkages through and within the academic, research and government sectors Significant French-language, and bilingual, population Link to European markets


SWOT Analysis - WEAKNESSES Higher than average tax costs compared to other provinces Seasonal mindset of a part of the labour force R&D under funded Corridor lost ground in terms of commerce through the area. Export and import trade through the region is down significantly Air freight traffic down Parochial thinking Lack of inter-provincial co-operation


SWOT Analysis - OPPORTUNITIES Consolidate industry sectors’ marketing to strengthen profile among relevant customer groups Intra-provincial partnering efforts Strengthening research and development initiatives to industry Potential to develop tourism-related economy Opportunity to focus on ONE key strength

SWOT Analysis - THREATS: 

SWOT Analysis - THREATS Geographically concentrated assets of competitive corridors External perception is of slow, lazy, stagnant region Lack of profile and/or awareness among potential customers Out-migration of skilled and educated workers High population of other corridors offers ready-made market for corridor-users

SWOT Analysis - THREATS, (cont’d): 

SWOT Analysis - THREATS, (cont’d) Other corridors offer better tax incentives Other corridors are more naturally occurring, and thus hold a more readily apparent and advantageous profile: through dense population obvious geographical advantages, offering access to markets, ease of export though the growth and concentration of a high profile sector (e.g., Silicon Valley) Insufficient marketing activities

What makes us competitive???: 

What makes us competitive??? Economic Advantage Affordable land/development Low cost of living Room for expansion Support Infrastructure Educated labour force Significant Population ????? Other Corridors Act as business resources for their individual industry clusters (e.g., Richmond, Texas; Baltimore, Washington) Offer their population as a key market. (e.g., Ontario east corridor) Actively broker multiple and different services to external customers (e.g., Asiabc Industries Network) Focus on one key strength of the area (e.g., “A center for the processing and distribution of food and fibre products” of the I-5 Business Development Corridor in central California)

What makes us unique??? : 

What makes us unique??? Quality of Life Slower pace of life Caring communities Balance of work and leisure Entertainment opportunities Unexploited Resources Natural Resources Tourism Educational Focus ?????

Positioning Opportunity Areas: 

Positioning Opportunity Areas Based on the asset mapping, the following are potential positioning avenues for the H-M EGC brand that build on both functional and emotional benefits: Endless Possibilities / Untapped potential Living Rewards / the Possibility for a Balanced Life Knowledge / Smart minds and resources / Progressive


THE BRAND PYRAMID - POSSIBILITIES Brand Features (Proof Points to delight stakeholders) Non-Functional Brand Benefit (How a stakeholder feels) Stakeholder Value/Experience (What stakeholder value it touches) Low Cost Inputs and Infrastructure Support Economic and Timing Advantage Confident Category Context (Tablestakes) Functional Brand Benefit (What a stakeholder gets) Un-exploited Resources Entrepreneurial Spirit


THE BRAND PYRAMID - LIVING REWARDS Brand Features (Proof Points to delight stakeholders) Non-Functional Brand Benefit (How a stakeholder feels) Stakeholder Value/Experience (What stakeholder value it touches) Needs of family unit met, business support Chance to pursue holistic approach to life Category Context (Tablestakes) Functional Brand Benefit (What a stakeholder gets) Life Balance Fulfilled Slower pace of life, caring communities, asset rich


THE BRAND PYRAMID - KNOWLEDGE CORRIDOR Brand Features (Proof Points to delight stakeholders) Non-Functional Brand Benefit (How a stakeholder feels) Stakeholder Value/Experience (What stakeholder value it touches) Service industry opportunity Growth Category Context (Tablestakes) Functional Brand Benefit (What a stakeholder gets) Elitism Pride Concentration of education, arts and culture; Smart people

Potential Positioning: 

Potential Positioning Positioning Opportunity Key Messages Untapped potential, endless possibilities, it hasn’t all been done before. Live life and prosper. Balancing a strong work ethic with a desire to get the most out of life. Always learning. Always growing. Always progressing. Possibilities Living Rewards The Knowledge Corridor

Next Steps: 

Next Steps Complete the process of Insight Mining to align Brand, Consumer and Category Unique Brand Property The single most motivating idea of the brand

Next Steps: 

Next Steps Complete the process of Insight Mining to align Brand, Consumer and Category 1.Shift Central has completed one of three components: Brand asset mapping now we must ensure that Investors want what we have and that we can stand out from the crowd 2. Complete insight mining into the Category, for context: who is the greatest competition how have they grown, marketed their Corridor what are the current trends for growth what must the H-M EGC offer to be competitive 3. Complete insight mining into the Consumer: what are the investors looking for which investors/industries are primed for expansion what must the H-M EGC offer to be unique

Next Steps: 

Next Steps Based on linkages between Brand, Category and stakeholder, develop a number of strategic hypotheses about how the H-M EGC brand can be positioned for maximum growth These hypotheses will be based on exhaustive research, not assumption The hypotheses will be explored with potential investors to ensure that our positioning is competitive, relevant, meaningful and sustainable over time

Desired 2003 End State: 

A tightly articulated brand strategy which will provide: The framework for the entire organization A consistent positioning (direction, voice, look and feel) that links our business strategy to the operations of our organization: A single minded articulation to all stakeholders of what we stand for as a company A competitive differentiator to help defend against and defeat competition A rallying cry for stakelholders Desired 2003 End State




NUCLEUS - BRAND SPECIALISTS Cossette is a family of entrepreneurs with 10 specialty companies that work independently and on a convergent basis to provide clients with brand building solutions.

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