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Interview with Susan O’Brien: <br/>How Canadian Tire stays as Canada’s Strongest Retail Brand


Interview with Susan O’Brien:
How Canadian Tire stays as Canada’s Strongest Retail Brand

Level5’s strategic partner Brand Finance launched Canada’s Most Valuable Brands 2019 last week.  Canadian Tire once again retained its title as Canada’s strongest retail brand. Recently, Level5 sat down with Susan O’Brien, Senior Vice President of Marketing for Canadian Tire, to discuss how Canadian Tire has grown its brand value and strength year over year.

The new era of digital retailing has created a lot of casualties: how do you assess your preparedness for the new era?

In a time when retail is undergoing such a dramatic transformation, we are constantly looking at new ways to meet our customers expectations. We look at all metrics we have traditionally tracked and have also added a whole new set that help us monitor our customer engagement- from Net Promoter Score (NPS) to improved measures of Marketing ROI like Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). And of course, we use our rich customer data to help us test and measure new approaches and initiatives.

Owned Brands are a key component of Canadian Tire’s go-forward strategy – could you illustrate the impact of this strategy on your Brand?

Owned brands will continue to be a key element of our growth strategy. We look to differentiate ourselves by offering unique, high quality products which can only be found in our stores and offer a meaningful margin advantage. We are putting the customer at the heart of our business strategy and decision making, bringing them the latest and greatest products and engaging them through exciting marketing campaigns like ‘We Do New’, which puts a spotlight on the hottest innovative products. We do believe our strength in building and marketing our owned brands has been key to helping reinvent the Canadian Tire brand over the years.

What is the role of Triangle loyalty and credit cards in the company’s long-term strategy?

Triangle Rewards was developed to attract new customers, increase engagement and relevance, and create more loyal lifetime customers. It is enabling us to do this because it provides such rich data, informing a single view of our customer and their needs, wants and preferences.

We have attracted over two million new customers since Triangle Rewards was launched, creating the fastest growing loyalty and credit card program in Canada. We now have over 12 million loyalty members who are shopping across our banners and receiving personalized offers for shopping within our marketplace. Making the transition from mass merchant to a one-to-one retailer is not easy, however we now have 60% of our customers shopping across our banners at Mark’s, SportChek and Canadian Tire Retail using Triangle Rewards.

What trends in Canadian retail can we expect to see over the next year?

We believe the biggest trend in retail branding is personalization – creating unique, customized solutions and communications that show greater relevance to Canadians. And we believe the strength of our Triangle Rewards program, our enormous digital and physical footprint and our strong relationship with Canadians is setting us up well for that personalization journey.



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