I’ve experienced a lot. For over 30 years I have worked in media buying, advertising, marketing as well as natural science and travel photojournalism. I have done lots of public speaking, in person, on radio and on television. But somehow it has always felt as if all of that was really just getting me ready for Canada Goose.
In 2005, I left what at the time was the best job I’d ever had, traveling the world as a travel and natural science photojournalist in order to help tell the story of this fantastic, authentic, proudly Canadian brand. For the next decade, until June of 2017 when I retired, Canada Goose grew from roughly $17MM in annual sales to nearly half a billion. They became one of Canada’s most trusted brands and today are a global leader in the apparel world. We were very creative with how we marketed. Tactical beyond belief. Creating opportunities in an entrepreneurial way that made the process exhilarating. Many believe we created the category of luxury, functional outerwear and I won’t argue with that. We became the story that university marketing text books told – literally. Goose became a staple in film and entertainment, a tool for people living in cold climates, a uniform for university students and to a large degree, a global icon proudly representing Canada wherever we were. In a world of faux brands, we defined authenticity.
My role at Canada Goose evolved from V.P. Marketing to CMO. It was one of the most challenging and fantastic careers anyone could ever hope for. I’d often tell whomever would listen that I thought I had the best job in Canada, given that I would never have made the National Hockey League.
Along the way I learned many a valuable lesson. Lessons only possible through first-hand experience. I had some inspirational mentors, and a great team around me. We made a few mistakes, but we won a lot more battles than we lost. The proof of that is Canada Goose’s global position as a leader in the apparel world. We have become one of Canada’s most trusted brands and have demonstrated what it means to be authentic while creating value for both consumers and investors.
Now I can share my experiences with you while helping you review, refine, or develop your brand strategy, build a world class marketing team and avoid many of the mistakes rapid growth companies make as they stretch themselves toward winning goals.