What does ‘everything is strategic’ mean? It means there better always be a damn fine relevant strategic reason behind everything we do for you. There are no muses on our payroll, just smart, creative, strategic thinkers. Everyone here, regardless of their discipline, knows that a good idea is only as good as the smart informed thinking that makes it right for your brand—and no other. No client should ever accept “Because it’s cool” as the answer to “Why are you proposing this?” So if everything is strategic is the rallying cry you’ll hear coming out of our mouths, read on to discover what’s in our soul.
We are GWP Brand Engineering, a branding communications company.
Why the word branding?
Because a growing, relevant brand is the only prize we chase for our clients.
Because we’re for brands that grow by communicating what they stand for and believe in.
Because a company is accountable for what it engineers and manufactures. That’s why.
What do we believe?
We believe brands can make the world a better place. We empower brands with their purpose by revealing and communicating their authentic greatness.
What is our rallying cry?
“Everything is strategic.”
We are true to each other, our clients and our purpose.
Our spirit is drawn to try the untried. We find comfort zones uncomfortable.
We are excited by what we have yet to create. We are never more ourselves than when blazing new paths.
Clients give us their trust and their money because they need us to make something happen – again and again. We interrogate success and failure, and tell the truth about both.
Excellence is proven upon your pulse. There is no standard checklist for excellence. There is only tirelessly striving for it.
True passion is the ideal marriage between intellect and emotion.
Passion is the key to a life well lived.
Our greatest strength
Our skill and passion for engineering voluntary lasting consumer engagement.
Where does our strength come from?
Our strength comes from our culture and the talented people we recruit to our cause. We are an entrepreneurial culture composed of hunters, not herders. Our culture thrives on disruptive, transformational ideas. We are fiercely dedicated to always hitting the nail on the head, but defiantly open to the idea that a hammer may not be the only way to do this.
What kind of clients seek us, and find us indispensable?
Clients whose businesses depend on the value in their brands and who love the idea of earning the customer’s engagement in their cause. Clients who are open-minded optimists, realists, advocates, creators and momentum seekers. Clients who want their brands to make waves, not tread water. For these clients we don’t create ads, we create campaigns. Not just campaigns but causes. Not just causes but cultures.
What are we famous for?
Engineering brands customers love.
“If you want to change people’s minds, you’ve got to talk to their elephants.”
- Jonathan Haidt, The Righteous Mind, 2012
As co-founder of GWP Brand Engineering in 1996, Philippe Garneau has been instrumental in the positioning, creative expression and growth of a diverse range of category-leading brands such as ING DIRECT, Expedia.ca, Intact Insurance, Buckley’s Cough Syrup, GroceryGateway.com and Rogers Communications, to name but a few. GWP’s work for these brands, several of which were brand engineered and launched by GWP, has helped rewrite the playbook on how brands are engineered in the 21st century.
A copywriter by trade, Philippe began his career in the early eighties. For nearly two decades he practiced his craft at major national and international agencies such as Chiat Day and Doyle Dane Bernbach, working on Volkswagen, Digital Computers, Audi, Canadian Airlines, Shoppers Drug Mart, Nissan and others. In the mid-nineties after creating a landmark campaign for the Bank of Montreal that profoundly changed how he approached his work, he co-founded GWP Brand Engineering to invent what would replace the traditional advertising agency.
Frequently outspoken, and a voracious consumer of new ideas, Philippe is often sought as a radio and TV commentator on a broad range of marketing topics. When not building consumer brands, he is busy growing i2, a unique ideas and issues advertising agency he recently co-created that serves the needs of an entirely different marketplace. Philippe has been a guest lecturer at Canadian colleges and universities and, in his spare time, is currently contributing whatever wisdom he can to help his brother get elected to lead Canada as its next Prime Minister. Boredom is not one of Philippe’s problems.
Why Philippe chose his quote:
I like disruptive quotes. They start interesting conversations. Haidt is telling us what every experienced marketer learns by trial and error. You need to lead with emotions and then nourish the rational mind. Or as Haidt would put it—he’s immensely quotable—reason is the servant of intuition.
“Take the time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in.”
- Napoleon Bonaparte
Robert’s depth of branding and marketing communications expertise spans 27 years in the industry making him a valued contributor to the GWP team. Robert has a background that includes brand development, retail programs and experiential marketing leveraging all forms of marketing and media. Robert is an experienced, entrepreneurial results-oriented strategist with a vast range of brand, packaged goods and retail experience. He has lead national retail accounts including Shoppers Drug Mart, Staples and Burger King. Robert honed his strategic skills working with brands such as Pepsi-Cola, Kraft Canada, Thomas J. Lipton, Canadian Airlines, Moosehead Breweries, Weston Bakeries, Corby Distillery and now Meridian Credit Union, to name a few.
Robert’s blending of experiences gives him the exceptional ability to lead the disciplined approach of brand building while uniquely understanding the ongoing need to drive sales in today’s competitive crowded marketplace.
Robert lives in Markham, Ontario with his wife Jacqueline and three teenage children.
Why Robert chose his quote:
A brilliant strategy or idea is never realized until it is properly executed. The short conqueror got that right. He would have made a great brand engineer.
1) New People
You hire as you grow. But everyone wants to make their mark.
Indoctrinate them first. That way their mark will contribute to your brand, not mint another version of it.
Careers are built on innovation. But brands are built on consistency.
Branding takes time to gain traction. Every change in strategy takes you back to square one, or worse. Resist it.
4) Not Enough Info
Branding builds on its own success. But only if you know what’s working.
Invest in that.
5) Too Much Info
Research is to brands what wind tunnels are to cars: if it’s the only tool you use, they all end up looking the same.
6) Lack of Courage
If you have a winner, it will be copied and attacked. Reacting to that puts the competition in control. Don’t blink.
7) Fabulous Opportunities
Promotional and media opportunities will pour in as your profile rises. If they don’t support your positioning, they’re worthless. Just don’t do it.
If you’re reading these words it means you’re curious to know what i2 is all about.
i2 is a hybrid of an advertising agency —people who know how to make ads that get results— and a public affairs consultancy—people who understand the politics of managing industry reputational issues. i2 ideas & issues Advertising is about creating highly targeted campaigns to help associations, industries and governments engage and persuade involved Canadians on issues that directly affect these clients. What’s the link with GWP Brand Engineering? Philippe Garneau is a founding partner of i2. Want to know more? Then click on the link.
Executive Vice-President Director, Client Services
Direct: 416 593 9769
Cell: 416 450 7753
Main: 416 593 4000 x227
Fax: 416 593 4001
365 Bloor St. E., Suite 1900, Toronto, ON, M4W 3L4
President, Executive Creative Director
Direct: 416 593 5015
Cell: 647 283 9351
Main: 416 593 4000 x335
Fax: 416 593 4001
365 Bloor St. E., Suite 1900, Toronto, ON, M4W 3L4