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CBC one of worst managed brands in Canada - but it's tops in its category

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Advertising and Ratings
TORONTO - The CBC is the organization that has always drawn polarized responses from people. That came through once again in the first exclusively Canadian study on "The Best-Managed Brands in Canada", conducted by design/branding agency Spencer Francey Peters (SFP) and The Strategic Counsel, on behalf of Canadian Business Magazine.

CBC came in as number five on the Worst-Managed Canadian Brands list. But in the Best-Managed Brand in Media Category specifically, CBC was the top contender, beating out competitors such as Citytv and CTV.

The study, released this week, was designed to provide a comprehensive look at how business people view Canadian companies on their brand management efforts. Respondents ranked companies based on a number of criteria relating to delivery of brand promise including consumer focus, customer service, brand values, reliability, consistency, value, trustworthiness and respect.

A total of 861 subscribers of Canadian Business and Marketing magazines were asked to rate brands that are either Canadian-owned or created in Canada. The margin of error is +/-3.3, 19 times out of 20. They were provided with a list of 157 brands to choose from, with the option to provide additional names.

"This study is unique in that it's not about brand awareness in the usual sense. It's about how businesses leaders rate other businesses on how they manage their brands. How are companies at delivering on their promise?" said Jeannette Hanna, vice-president of Brand Strategy for SFP.

"When you think brand management, you usually think about the logo, the ad campaign, the spokesperson. But in fact, it's the customer experience that speaks volumes about what makes a well-managed brand," adds Luba Krekhovetsky, managing editor of Canadian Business. "The three most important factors in brand management are: the ability to deliver consistently on a customer promise, the clarity of that promise, and the quality of customer service."

Tim Woolstencroft, managing partner for The Strategic Group, says that in the Media category, the strength of the "true-blue" Canadian branding obviously carries a lot of weight with brand observers. "It's interesting to note that the one that made the top grade is the one truly Canadian broadcaster, since Global, CTV and the like broadcast American programming.

"CBC is a true niche player that has a lot of detractors. But there are always those that love it. Citytv also has its own niche appeal that respondents liked. One surprise to us was Global not making the list in the category."

Hanna says, "Every category has its challenges. For the people who did not make the overall top 10, or who ended up at the bottom, it really comes down to focus. Media in particular is a category where the promise is not that clear, so the ability to confirm whether they deliver on their promise is a little harder to judge. Also, there is less of a human experience � unlike categories such as food service, hospitality and retail."

She cites the example of Tim Hortons, which was rated the number one Best-Managed Canadian Brand. "It has a brand promise that is simple and execution is visible in everything they do, from customer service to product to delivery. It's all about coffee. Who can say in simple words what it's all about for the broadcasters? Getting that kind of consensus - and consistency - is just not as easy for them."
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