Sometime companies just nail their brand. The world is full of inauthentic brands and painful advertising goes right along with them, sadly. It’s just a fact of life. As brand communicators it can drive us crazy.

When we see a local business perfectly articulate their brand, we want to scream about it from the rooftop. This blog is as close to our rooftop as I’m willing to get in Mid-November, so let’s discuss one such example right now.

Whitehorse radio station CKRW The Rush recently wrapped up a “shop local” contest that worked with local businesses to encourage the people of our fair city to spend their new plastic twenties and fifties at local businesses rather than going online or to a big box alternative.

CKRW is a local company; they sell radio advertising to local businesses and as such, depend deeply on the success and strength of those businesses. This contest underscores the importance of local companies, supports their core customer base and is authentic. Here’s an example of how it rings true: The grand prize is a trip for a family member or friend to Yukon. Not to Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton but TO YUKON! Like I said — nailed it!

It’s no surprise that Air North, Yukon’s Airline was on board to help provide the airfare – those folks know a thing or two about being authentic. However it wasn’t just Yukon’s Airline that pitched in, so too did The Westmark, Metro Chrysler, The Studio, Alpine Bra, Plantation Flowers & Gifts, Erik’s Audio & Video Unlimited, Murdock’s and several other local businesses.

True brand communications is about first articulating the values your organization brings to work every morning, acting on those values, and then constantly finding ways to authentically communicate those values to customers and soon-to-be-customers in every aspect of your business.

Was the contest perfect? Did local business experience a bump in traffic? Does this sort of strategy work to change behaviors? For CKRW those questions should be less relevant. Did we stay true to ourselves? Did the contest support our core businesses? Do Yukoners have a better sense of what we care about than before? Those are the questions that matter in the long term. You can perfect communications strategy but authenticity can’t be faked.

Congratulations CKRW, you nailed it.


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