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grow: mark healy

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.

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.