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The city skyline is seen as the Olympic flame burns in a caldron along the waterfront at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2010.

Jonathan Hayward

The easy-to-call early successes at the Olympics: HBC, Coke and Vancouver/BC.

HBC: If relevance was the goal, the Olympics helped that process along. Bonnie Brooks has been trying to clean up the mess left behind from years of training customers to expect 10%-20% off every time they visit (was always a Bay Day or scratch-n-save day), and from a lack of clarity on the target customer. HBC managed to leverage their rich history yet represent a company in touch with consumers, with a more homogenous and clear brand position (accessible quality and style). The price point of the Canada apparel was genius, opting to encourage mass adoption and long store line-ups. They now have a chance to win back some Gen X defectors.

Coca Cola: The close association with hockey was kind of obvious, but so well executed, particularly the subtle change in the TV ad minutes after the men's hockey triumph.

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Vancouver: The city's brand as a cool, metropolitan playground was built immensely in 2 weeks, and they didn't even advertise. The background shots on TV and atmosphere in the city, as reported all over the world, were enough. The province of BC also did a great job. This was more BC's games than Canada's - with the BC promo spots running all the time, and the constant presence of BC public figures reinforcing the position.

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About the Author
Marketing & Growth Columnist

Mark Healy, P.Eng, MBA, is a partner at Satov Consultants - a management consultancy with practice areas in corporate strategy, customer strategy, operations and strategy implementation. Mark's focus areas inside the Customer Strategy practice include consumer insights, pricing, customer experience, innovation and go-to-market strategy. More

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