The Hudson’s Bay Company Collection is all about the stripes. The iconic green, red, gold and navy striped blanket is the timeless centrepiece of the HBC Collection. I can’t think of another homeware that is more Canadian. Can you?
The HBC Collection has grown from the high-quality woollen blankets (made in England – not in Canada, sadly) to include clothing, linens, home and outdoor accessories, and even furniture.
It takes serious restraint to refrain from decking out the entire cabin/cottage/camp with all of the HBC goodies. They are crisp, stylish Canadian classics.
What makes the HBC Collection stand out?
The iconic striped quartet is a signature element, of course. In terms of a recognizable Canadian design, there is nothing else quite like it.
Even though the majority of the HBC Collection goods are not made in Canada (ugh), there are some pieces that are made here, including the new line of furniture. Gorgeous. Want. Need. Despite the sweaters and blankets and other popular items being made in other parts of the world, we still perceive this brand as being quintessentially Canadian. That is a major achievement and is partially a result of the company’s long history and legacy in Canada. HBC began as a fur trading operation in 1670, and touts themselves as “Canada’s merchants since 1670.”
How do HBC’s signature elements translate into their web and social media presence?
The HBC website allows the products to speak for themselves. They use banners featuring new products or quotes from pleased customers to headline the web pages.
The cover photo for HBC’s Facebook page is the iconic stripes, and gorgeous photos of Canada are posted throughout their newsfeed. They are selling a crisp, clean, classic version of Canada, and it is very appealing.
On HBC’s Twitter feed, there are posts about Team Canada, snow days and the Trans-Canada Trail. Again, very Canadian.
Their Instagram account is more fashion driven than their other social channels, and they describe themselves as “Canada’s destination for fashion, beauty and home.” Many of the images are of models wearing HBC clothing in picturesque Canadian locales.
What can we learn from HBC?
In all of HBC’s web and social channels, it’s all about Canada. Their brand is Canada. They infuse that sense of national pride into their products and their promotion. They’ve identified essential elements of what it means to be Canadian – including geography, environment and culture – and translated those elements into their products, marketing and communications. They are branding Canada with their products.