OTTAWA — The federal Liberal government embarked on an exhaustive creative process and spent $24,000 to hire a consultant to help rebrand its new investment promotion body to grab the attention of foreign investors.
In the end, they changed the name of their “Invest in Canada Hub” to “Invest in Canada.”
The government’s “rigorous business naming process” started in 2017 to deal with internal concerns that the official title would fail to give the organization a fresh start at its launch, according to a briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press.
In addition to worries the name failed to set Canada apart from the pack, there were reservations about the word “Hub.”
“Through a series of brainstorming exercises, benchmarking, focus testing, and official languages and trademark queries, a series of names were generated and refined.”
Champagne, who made the final choice from two options, officially unveiled the organization under its new title in March
Ottawa first announced the Invest in Canada Hub in the fall of 2016, promising $218 million over five years to create it. The goal is to lure global investment and simplify the process for international businesses to make Canada their new home.
The document said Ottawa hired a creative agency for about $24,000 to assist in the naming effort, tossed around 2,000 words in search of ideas, wrote a long list of suggestions and consulted more than 125 stakeholders inside and outside government on the possibilities.
Champagne’s ultimate selection wasn’t the No. 1 option generated by the process, the document says. The top recommendation was “Canada Global.”
A “major drawback” of Invest in Canada was that it wasn’t new, the document said. The name followed the convention used by most countries seen as Canada’s competitors for foreign investment — from Invest in Italy to Invest in Spain.
“(It) does not differentiate Canada as unique,” said the note, obtained under the Access to Information Act.
The memo said the preferred English name was Invest Canada, but since the acceptable corresponding French version would be “Investir au Canada,” the translation needed “in.”
“This essentially brings the process back to the same name that has been used over (the) past 10+ years,” it said.