Local brands work well, says Sexton president

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — Branding can work globally, nationally and locally. That was just one of the conclusions of the latest Hardlines Conference, held last week at Queen’s Landing in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

The conference’s theme of branding carried through the presentations during the two-day event, including comments by  insights from one of the country’s leading brand experts, Ian Madell, managing partner and president of Level5 Strategy Group. He pointed out that a company’s brand is a key asset, and one that is too-often under-valued―or misused.

But it was the comments of one industry insider who stressed the value of a local brand, as used by independent dealers in the retail home improvement industry. Steve Buckle, president of Winnipeg-based Sexton Group, said the most important brand for his group is “the name above the door” of a local building centre. He explained how Sexton Group supports dealers who each have their own strong brands in their respective markets.

A highlight of the conference, now in its 23rd year, was the Outstanding Retailer Awards Gala, held at the end of day one. There, dealers from all banners and every part of the country were honoured for their excellence in retailing, merchandising and community service.