Landing Smoothly in the Québec Market
As one of the most anticipated retail openings in Canada, American arts & crafts giant, Michaels opened seven stores throughout Quebec in September 2012. Michaels main goal was to smoothly enter the Quebec market where a well-established local family business was dominating the market.
Strategy and Activities
Conducted extensive research.
Created a plan, including the following activities:
Advising Michaels on brand positioning and French language strategy;
Identifying and training a corporate spokesperson;
Setting up meetings with Ministers & OQLF on culture, language and business;
Adopting a positive speech about the local competition: we are here to grow the market;
Spreading the announcement over six months to create anticipation amongst Michaels fans;
Bringing Québec media to NYC stores;
Creating a bilingual website, a new Facebook page and YouTube channel;
Producing videos with celebrity, Brigitte Lafleur;
Organizing a crafter contest, On the hunt for Michaels' creative ambassador (to this day, the ambassador is still the same);
Securing a three-year partnership with Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts + other parternships;
Partnering with a creative firm to develop a new ad campaign;
Hosting a VIP pre-opening event;
Holding seven simultaneous store opening events;
After the launch, we consistently worked with influencers and media towards growing the brand for three years with multiple activities.
Hundreds of customers excitedly waited for the doors to open at each store opening event. Dignitaries and the manager of each store cut the ribbon and confetti was tossed. Sales goals for opening day were exceeded.
Media widely covered the event. At the time of the opening, Michaels was the subject of 66 reports in top media. The number of positive media impressions rose to 65M just in 2012.
Won several awards, notably a Platinum Award in the “External Public Relations” category Award of the Quebec Society of Professional Public Relations (SQPRP) and a Gold Award in the category “Canadian campaign of the year in marketing communications” of the National Excellence Awards from the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS).
Through CASACOM’s guidance and support, we feel that we entered the province in the right way and making the right relationships…CASACOM has given us great ideas and encouragement that we are not only going to be successful, but help build the marketplace. With CASACOM’s partnership I really feel like we made a real difference.