🛠️ The Product Person #19: Canada Goose

A lesson in long-term vision, brand identity, and having an unmoving dedication to quality.

In 2001, when North American apparel companies fled overseas for cheaper labor, Canada Goose CEO Dani Reiss made a promise: Canada Goose parkas will never be manufactured outside of their home country.

Dani held two values that other companies didn’t: product quality over profits & Canadian pride.

He knew that one day “Made in Canada” would mean something to the world. And he wanted Canada Goose the champions of that movement.

Dedication to quality

Canada Goose parkas are handcrafted. But there aren’t many expert sewers in today’s job market. So the company created training schools in Winnipeg to teach people how to operate industrial sewing machines, set a zipper, etc.

They’ve taught and hired nearly 800 people in the past year.

Brand identity

By 2001, the company had an annual revenue of only $3 million. So they couldn’t afford glossy ad campaigns. They had to rely on storytelling and ol’ reliable:

Canada Goose believed in their product, so they made sure that others could see their parkas being used in the perfect situations.

  • They outfitted an expedition team that traveled to the North Pole and was featured in National Geographic.

  • They outfitted TV and film crews shooting in below-freezing locations.

  • Their parkas were also worn by government researchers, environmentalists and scientists working in places like Antarctica.

The company’s aim was to clothe people in the coldest places on Earth and tell their stories.

Delivering an experience

Canada Goose knew their parkas worked. So when opening their first brick-and-mortar stores in Toronto and New York in 2016, they wanted to create a retail experience that highlights their exceptional quality.

They did this by creating “cold rooms” in their stores. A room where shoppers can test their products in temperatures as low as -25°C (that’s -13°F for us Americans) before they make a purchase.

I, for one, think that’s pretty dang cool. (Pun very much intended)

Raining Canadian Dollars

From a $3 million annual revenue in 2001 to $18 million in 2008 and now almost $600 million today, Canada Goose has proven that the old adage true: with great product comes great profitability.

I mean, look at their annual revenue since 2015. The curve’s so pretty, makes you want to salute the Canadian flag.

*Cue the Canadian National Anthem*

🖇️ You can read the full article on Canada Goose by Harvard Business Review here.

❤️ Thanks for reading Issue #19 of The Product Person. If you enjoyed it, share this with a buddy.

👋 Last week, I started a Telegram chat to geek about product. About 30 people have joined so far. Come say hi!

🤗 Enjoy the rest of your day.