Introducing strategy’s 2016 Brands of the Year

Check out the stand-outs from this past year, plus who to keep an eye on.

BOY intro

This article appears in the October 2016 issue of strategy.

It’s one thing to say you stand for something, another to actually live it.

That’s what makes this year’s Brands of the Year stand out: their bite is as big as their bark.

Each has clearly defined (and executed to tremendous acclaim) its unique position in a category and distinct brand image in the consumer’s mind.

Take Simons — spoiled with awareness in French Canada, the retailer successfully communicated its fashion-oriented and customer-focused approach when it ventured outside its home province. Hellmann’s has been on a nearly decade-long journey to keep the conversation around its Real Food Movement going.

Very early on, President’s Choice had to define what it stood for, and then took on the tricky task of disseminating its brand DNA across categories, from food to financial. While Lilly Singh, a Canadian-born content creator, spent the past six years crafting a global brand around positive thinking, the Drake Hotel, its General Store and restaurants have worked at being inclusively exclusive. Finally, Cineplex made strides to extend beyond exhibition to create a more sweeping entertainment brand.

This year’s list was made after consulting the industry and fierce editorial deliberations to come up with a list of six deserving brands across the country, spanning diverse categories. So turn the page to learn what they’re doing to build their brands, and be sure to check out our Brands to Watch, Beau’s and Reigning Champ.

In no particular order, here are the stories behind strategy‘s six top Brands of the Year:

President’s Choice
Lilly Singh
The Drake