Always a hotly debated question: Do we include Québec in our Shopper contest or other purchase based program? Well, let the debate end here. My Canada includes Québec (even with the Regie!). That said, there are a few things that you need to know when diving into Québec. If you make note of the pitfalls, Québec is one of the best regions of the country to drive incremental sales.
- Relationships Count – Québec retailers want to build a relationship with their brand counterparts. Shockingly the easiest way to do this is the one thing that most manufacturers choose not to do – listen. Probably the most relationship centric province in the country, Québec Category managers want you to hear their challenges and help them find solutions. In return, they are more than willing to offer a little latitude when manufacturers have certain objectives of their own that have to be met. Choose not to listen to your Category Manager and you will find your brands riding the retail pine.
- Quebecers Participate - Through experience we know that Quebecers have amongst the highest participation levels for purchase based promotions. While there are many factors that influence participation, the two key points that make a difference are these: Joie de vivre – the love of life. This is a part of Québec culture and it extends to the shopping experience. Québecers tend to enjoy the shopping experience more than other parts of the country, which, in turn leaves more time for exploration and participation. And because of the largely independent retailer environment, Québec retailers tend to build bigger better displays to support shopper initiatives (when properly incentivised).
- “Right” the Language! – Such a simple thing. Use respected translators, Québec creative teams, and don’t mess up the language. Context is as important as content when marketing to Quebecers. Show that you’ve made a distinct effort to tailor your story for the Québec market and you’ll be rewarded!
Québec represents 25% of sales in this country, they are willing participants, and they execute better than anywhere else in the country - we should think about doing it right.