What brands do you admire, and why?

Brands can resonate with us for many reasons: they represent a beloved product, connote prestige, bring comfort, take a stand, stand the test of time, or simply connect with us because of beautiful design or clever copywriting.

And so, we asked our team: what brand do you admire?

For me, I considered the brands that I reference as best-in-class when speaking with clients. Locally in Guelph, I keep coming back to Danby. Sure, the logo itself is simple – effective, if not iconic. But it’s the words underneath that communicate the brand: “Do the right thing.”

For an appliance manufacturer? It’s not touting typical benefits such as durability or stylish design? How unusual. Their tagline – the brand promise – is a powerfully simple call-to-action for every employee and partner to let their values guide their decisions. It’s empowering. It instills confidence. And it’s a fitting mantra for Danby’s owner, Jim Estill, a brilliant business and community leader with a long list of accolades for – well, for doing the right thing.

Here’s what others on our team had to say:

Les Patterson, Web Services

I admire The Canadian Cancer Society. Hands down, no debate. The daffodil to me has always represented cancer. Their primary tagline “Let’s Make Cancer History” ­is a brilliant double entendre. Beyond a personal connection (I’ve lost eight family in 29 years), it’s their gutsy brand messaging and secondary taglines paired with bold creative across all mediums. The flavoured tobacco campaign ads with the hashtag #ThinkBeforeYouVape are but one example.

Read Les’ full overview of the Canadian Cancer Society’s incredible brand marketing over here.

Julie Brown-Hallman, Graphic Designer

Fig Clothing embodies a classic and beautifully simple aesthetic across their apparel, logo, and branding. Additionally, they prioritize sustainability, versatility, comfort, and eco-friendliness. As a Canadian company, they have all the qualities that appeal to me as a consumer (and designer), which is why I own several of their pieces.

Stenna Berry, Graphic Designer

COKE is it! Who else can claim the rights to a holly, jolly and red-clad Santa? Whether you love or hate the drink itself, it’s one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The script font is liquid and flowing, but even without the logo chances are you’d know it was Coke just by seeing red, or the trademark slim, curved bottle. They’ve always focused on friendship, family and sharing experiences – a great foundation for any brand! 

Natasha Paterson, Operations Manager

Lowa is a German brand that’s been making outdoor footwear for about 100 years. I’ve worn Lowa boots for over 20 years. I’m on just my second pair and have yet to get a blister in them, despite some serious use (like the ABC trek in Nepal). There’s a reason they’re still in business after all this time!

Cathy MacMillan, Chief Administrative Officer

Dove is the brand I admire the most. As a company in the cosmetics industry, it would be easy for them to promote beauty as youthful, slender bodies, unblemished skin, perfect symmetry and other tropes that have plagued beauty marketing. Instead, they led the way with videos and marketing promoting self-esteem and beauty in all of its wonderful shapes, sizes and differences. Sure, a lot of beauty brands today are more inclusive and representative – let’s be clear: Dove led the way, and still does.

Leo Jett, Co-op Student

I admire Apple because they are reliable and never go out of style. They sell more than just a phone – they sell a lifestyle.

Sarah Beube, Account Coordinator

Mandy’s – I love the super classic, simple look of their salad dressings. Pastel colour palette and groovy fonts. I’ve yet to try them because they’re $9.99 a bottle, but I almost drop one in my cart every time I grocery shop. Their objective to appeal to young adult females is effective and SO pretty – if it wasn’t completely weird, I’d probably use their products to decorate my already very eclectic office.

Diane Cvetich, Client Services

Lolavie is my favourite haircare line. Not only has it made a difference in how my hair looks, it smells great and is cruelty-free. And I love the simple aesthetic (I’ll never say for sure, but I may have picked my new shower tile thinking how good the bottles will look with it 😉).

Stacey McCarthy, Senior Account Manager

Did you know that “3M” stands for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing? The company has come a long way from its 1902 roots. Today, 3M’s overarching brand ‘parents’ more than 40 sub-brands, with some, like Scotch®, NexcareTM and Post-it®, more well-recognized than others. But despite its growth, “3M” is known for its consistency. It is recognized. It delivers on a guarantee. That’s a lot to fit into two characters. But 3M does it.

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