The doctors

Philippe Garneau, partner/ECD, GWP Brand Engineering

Philippe Garneau, partner/ECD, GWP Brand Engineering

No stranger to introducing challenger brands into long-established categories, we asked Garneau for his diagnosis of the roles that legacy brand Air Canada and stylish upstart Porter Airlines have to play in their category. Garneau has been instrumental in the creation of new brands such as ING Direct, and He has worked for agencies like Doyle Dane Bernbach and Chiat Day, and for clients including Volkswagen, Life Savers, Mr. Big, Rubbermaid and Canadian Airlines, which earned him a closet full of international awards before he co-founded GWP Brand Engineering in the early ’90s.

Chris Lund, CEO, Perennial Group

Lund brings a design perspective to our retail category discussion, applying his meticulous attention to detail to Sobeys Urban Fresh and Zellers. He works with retailers to build meaningful experiences for customers throughout North America and into China and India. For more than 18 years, Perennial has collaborated in the design and strategic direction of companies including Loblaw Companies Limited banners, Home Depot Canada, McEwan Gourmet Market, Canada Post Corporation, Aisle 43 and Spencer’s Retail in India.

Bruce MacLellan, APR, FCPRS; president & CEO, Environics Communications

MacLellan has handled crisis communications for clients including Bayer, Gerber, and Johnson & Johnson – so we knew he could provide insight and context to food/grocery category brand Maple Leaf Foods. Founding president of Environics Communications since 1994, he has worked in communications consulting since 1980 and has provided counsel to leaders in business, government and professional sports. His clients have included Royal Bank, Microsoft, Xerox, The Nature Conservancy, eBay, Investors Group and Nestlé. His areas of expertise include corporate communications, issues management and marketing communications. He has also served in senior political positions in government in the areas of defense, health, culture and the environment.

Ian Mirlin, partner, Ignyte

When we heard that Mirlin, the legendary writer, creative director and former president of Harrod & Mirlin, was co-founding a new agency dedicated to the rescue and renewal of brands that have lost their way, we knew he would bring high-level creative insight into consumer-brand relationships to our team of category doctors. He has worked with General Motors, Levi Strauss, Nabisco, Fairmont Hotels, Evian, TD Canada Trust, Quaker Oats, Coca-Cola and Ford, among others. Before launching Ignyte, Mirlin was national CD for Young & Rubicam and McCann-Erickson. He has won awards in major shows all over the world, from New York to Cannes.

Jill Nykoliation, president, Juniper Park

With experience on both the client and agency sides of CPG marketing, Nykoliation brings a doubly unique perspective to our discussions of the food/grocery and retail categories. At Juniper Park, her clients in the U.S. and Canada include Frito Lay, Pepsi, Starbucks, Astral Media and the Red Cross. In her prior work at Kraft Foods, Nykoliation was the co-creator of an award-winning North American CRM initiative, recognized as one of the leading relationship marketing programs globally. She pioneered a new corporate marketing division, managed brands such as Post Cereals, Maxwell House Coffee and Kraft Cheese, and led Kraft’s North American creative and content strategies, most notably Food & Family magazine, the third-largest circulated magazine in the world.

John C. Williams, senior partner, J.C. Williams Group

Since starting his consulting company in 1974, Williams has been recognized as one of North America’s retail gurus – a perfect choice for chief of staff for our discussion on how new formats and born-again brands are shaking up the retail category. He counsels retailers, manufacturers of consumer goods, shopping centre developers, downtowns and governments, and has authored four books: Getting Retail Right! for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), A Guide to Retail Success for the National Retail Federation, Washington D.C., Building a Winning Retail Strategy for the Retail Council of Canada, and Marketing Main Street for Heritage Canada. He also teaches at the ICSC’s University of Shopping Centers.

Ken Wong, faculty, Queen’s Business School

A marketing professor, consultant, speaker and facilitator in conferences and executive development programs around the world – and quite possibly the largest individual holder of frequent flyer miles in the country, we asked Wong to take us to school on the airline category. He puts his academic expertise to work for corporate and public clients ranging from 3M Canada, American Express, Bayer, Bell Canada, Canada Post, CN and TD Canada Trust to KPMG, Mattel, Microsoft, Pfizer, Starbucks, Telus, Tim Horton’s and Travelodge. Beyond Queen’s, he has also taught in degree programs at Cornell and Harvard. In 1998, Wong won the Financial Post’s Leaders in Management Education lifetime achievement award. He was inducted into the Canadian Marketing Hall of Legends in 2006.

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