Arts in the time of COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter

As a society, we have spent considerable time lamenting the brutal impact the coronavirus has had on specific sectors - and there's a lot to lament. One key industry that has been reeling is the arts and entertainment industry. The television and movie production sectors in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have been dormant since March. Theaters have been empty, and actors have nowhere to perform, let alone audition, and we're all the poor, emotionally and intellectually, as a result.

In this episode, we’re joined by Toronto-based actor and writer Nicole Nwokolo. Tune in to hear Nicole discuss the current landscape of the film industry, along with systemic racism and navigating a career in a pandemic.

Catering to the e-commerce demand

The logistics of shifting operations to meet the pandemic e-commerce boom

The growth of eCommerce has been immense during the pandemic. From retail to alcohol, online sales have skyrocketed to all time highs, leaving many organizations scrambling to keep up.

In this episode, Corina Pardo of Sombrero Latin Foods discusses the logistical challenges her team faced while shifting their business from supplying restaurants, to delivering their products directly to consumers through a revamped e-commerce platform.


Office design with empathy in mind

How smart office design is essential to creating an enjoyable “New Normal” for employees.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen companies such as Twitter and Shopify announce their workforce will continue to work from home either full time or in a modified fashion permanently.

However, the majority of people are actually looking forward to a return to office, opting against continued work from home. Host Ken Evans chats with Annie Bergeron, Design Director and Principal at Gensler Toronto about how Gensler the company is planning office design to propel a safe and sustained return to work, which includes putting space and empathy at the forefront of the conversation.


Distilling collaboration in a time of need

How Spirit of York Distillery pivoted to support their community in its time of need

For brands to go through an extreme organizational pivot, it usually takes several months. But when the pivot is in support of a greater community, one ravaged by an external force affecting millions, collaboration is essential and evidently contagious.

In our first episode in our new series, Host Ken Evans chats with Gerry Guitor, President and CEO of Spirit of York Distillery Co. about the company’s move to produce hand sanitizer to help protect their community from COVID-19 and address the growing need for the product.

TEASER: The Pivot 2.0

A look into outstanding pivots in the age of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly brought new challenges to brands, and now there isn’t a brand or marketer who isn’t pivoting in fundamental and in some cases radical ways. Be it restaurants offering heat-and-serve meals or distillers shifting production to produce hand sanitizers, it has certainly been fascinating and inspiring to see. Host Ken Evans and producer Ashley Villarroel sit down (virtually!) and chat about the pivots made during COVID-19 and what’s next in season 4 of the podcast.


Will-building in the digital age

How Willful has simplified the process of estate planning

In the age of robo-advisors, same-day shipping and ordering lunch through an app, the birth of digital has allowed brands to provide convenient and affordable solutions to simple tasks. Now that we are well into the digital age, we see brands that are changing the game for milestone events – including estate planning. In this episode we chat with Erin Bury, CEO and co-founder of Willful. Tune in to hear Erin delve into the digital approach to creating a will and how legacy brands still struggle to adopt digital strategies. Erin shares her thoughts on the power of word of mouth, the importance of brand values and getting creative with content when talking about such a taboo topic.


It’s time to integrate art and science

The importance of visuals in today’s marketplace and how marketers continue to miss the mark

To connect with a brand, consumers need to buy into the message and its image. The two go hand-in-hand - If one of these components is missing, the impact of the other is lost. The focus of all marketers should be on bringing a more visual approach to content, as well as well as processes. Xenia Muntean of Planable joins us to discuss the launch of the platform and the importance of an integrated strategic plan.

A lesson in rebranding, taking risks and keeping heritage

A discussion with WW Canada on how the brand has been able to evolve and target a new audience, all while continuing to satisfy their current members.

When asked by people outside of our area of expertise, "What really drives you professionally?” most communications and marketing pros would say, "A client or project where you can create real change.” While practitioners are finding clever ways to bring this potential to a greater range of programming, few sectors can literally and personally effect change like the wellness and nutrition space.

But with all the new technologies, theories and philosophies popping up seemingly by the hour, how do you differentiate and establish credibility in the sector?

Tune in as Ali Leung, Vice President, Marketing, at WW Canada and Ken discuss how WW has leaned in on a 57-year legacy, how it’s evolved with new science, data and analytic support, all while continuing to satisfy a legion of motivated, committed members.

Exploring the retail conundrum with BDO

What are consumers looking for from their shopping experience and how are brands shifting to address these expectations?

A decade ago, Canada’s retail landscape revolved around the decision to invest in eCommerce and find that balance between bricks and mortar and online. It has since shifted into manufacturing practices and supply chain, and the rise of “fast fashion.” Today, we’re seeing a tension between luxury and artisanal on one side and value driven brands on the other, with the players in the middle getting increasingly squeezed out. Canada’s retail landscape is volatile but immensely fascinating industry to watch.

Eric Matusiak, partner and national retail leader at BDO knows this all too well. Tune in as Eric and Ken discuss what’s next for the retail sector, what the heavy-hitters are doing right, and how retailers everywhere must consider a pivot, such as integrating more experiential in bricks and mortar shops.


What’s next in Canada’s cannabis sector

A discussion on product innovation, branding and de-stigmatization

Canada's cannabis sector has been fascinating to watch over the last 13 months as a fully legal and regulated sector. From the peak investor highs to the on again and off again rollout of the retail play, particularly in Ontario, to the release of edibles, beverages and topicals. It's certainly not been boring. Yet what often gets lost in all the market prognostications, regulatory laments, and the way in which retail opportunities are being allocated, is the manner in which marketers in the space are handling brand building and brand reputation in an entirely new industry. Tune in as Andrew Rusk, head of marketing, digital and communications at Canopy Growth discusses what’s next for the cannabis sector in Canada, delving into product innovation, strategic partnerships and the continued de-stigmatization and education that the sector continues to face.