Why Brand Continuity Matters

For years I’ve argued that brand continuity is important, and for years franchisees have told me it isn’t. Here are two recent examples that illustrate why brand continuity matters.

Example #1 :: Sobeys

I lived in Winnipeg for two years and shopped at Sobeys because 1. I could walk there, 2. it was a clean bright store,  3. my father-in-law recommended it, and 4. it also had a pharmacy. I came to look forward to my frequent small shopping trips. Better yet they had a number of products that I came to love. I’m not a foodie, but Sobeys did it’s best to make me one. So now I’m back in Toronto – missing my local Sobeys and some of those special treats. I drove to the nearest one, only to find it small, dingy, unfriendly and worst of all – the treats I loves to buy in Winnipeg were nowhere to be found in the Toronto store.  The result: i will not go back to Sobey’s in Toronto and I’ll share my brand disappointment with others.

Example #2 :: Days Inn

Charlie (my dog) and I used to drive to Winnipeg and back a few times a year. When my wife came along we made it a road-vacation. we set a leisurely pace and overnighted 4-5 times enroute. Over the years and miles we’ve found that some hotels and motels had no-dog policies, others charged as much as a 2nd (or 3rd) human occupant, and others put you up in their ‘smoking’ rooms. Then there was Days Inn. So far no matter what route we have taken from Toronto to Winnipeg and back, Days Inn was always happy to put up Michelle, Charlie and me for a $10-$20.00 premium in a non-smoking room. Given the rooms are large, comfortable and equipped with wireless internet and a desk, they’ll continue to get my business and my referrals.

As Holiday Inn used to say in their ads: “The best surprise is no surprise”.



My father and father-in-law both served in WW2. My father was in the German army and my father-in-law was in the Canadian Navy. They didn’t see each other much because my family lives in Toronto and my wife’s family lives in Winnipeg.

I remember the 1st time they met. They talked about a lot of different things for a long time and about the war for a short time. I remember them agreeing on the stupidity and the futility of that war, the one that preceded it – and all of those that have followed.

My father came to Canada with his wife and five children (and me on the way) to escape conflict and conscription – and to give Petra, Henry, August, Martin, Barbara and me a better life.

My wife, Michelle, and I went to the Winnipeg Legislature Buildings this morning to remember Heinrich Wilhelm Wehrmann and Robert Bernard Convey as well as all the others who have stood on guard for us for all these years.

If we’re really as smart as we think we are – why can’t we figure this out?


What goes about comes about

I was hiking along the Toronto waterfront with my son 12 years ago on a cool fall day just like today. While we had a great time, I lost my red 3-season jacket that I simply adored. Ian and I retraced our route twice to no avail. Whenever I shop for a jacket I compare it to the memory of my red MEC jacket, which they don't make anymore.

Imagine my delight at finding the same red MEC jacket, in my size, at a Winnipeg Value Village store today for only $12.99!

Seems there is a God - and she has a very quirky sense of humor.

Some times you really have to believe it before you see it, and keep searching until you find it.


I'd say that Charlie loves routine as much as my wife hates routine. I'm more like Charlie than Michelle. For the last three months Michelle and I worked hard to get our home in Toronto ready to rent in April because we needed to move to Winnipeg. I tried my best to keep Charlie calm by respecting his routine: including feeding, down and walk times. To make a long story short we got through it all and now we're setting up a new life in Winnipeg where we'll help care for Michelle's father. And Charlie has become a different dog. In Toronto he was the cock of the walk, the dominant dog who challenged all comers. Here he's the new kid on the block, treads lightly and never strays far from my side or the house for that matter. It's been two weeks now and each day we walk the same 4 km. route to help him establish a new territory he can mark - and make his own. It's working. He's becoming more relaxed and walks with greater confidence and purpose. And we have to go around his territory counter-clockwise. Very important. Why? Please re-read the opening sentence.

Bonding with 4 winter boots

I've heard that it takes a few weeks for us to internalize change. Seems that rule applies to Charlie as well. Just before Christmas the salt trucks came round to make driving safer in our neighborhood. But Charlie hates road salt (in his paws) and refused to go on the road that leads to the park that he loves to play in. So Michelle and I bought Charlie a set of winter boots.
He hated the idea - and hid in his room (AKA the Hall Closet).
I put them on anyway and dragged him out for his walk.
1/2 way through the walk he began to trot, and by the end our the 'walk' he ran.
Here we are - three weeks later. He's wearing his boots most every day because of the road salt. When we come in from our walk I take his boots off and lay them in front of a heating vent to ensure they're warm and dry for the next walk.
In the last few days I have noticed that Charlie is going to the air vent to pick up a boot or two which he then takes to his day bed.
It seems he's learned the value of his boots and bonded with them.
A lot of the good things in my life were also rejected before they were embraced.