“LG2 has been a great partner who has helped us evolve our brand, including redefining our brand promise and personality to better reflect our unique position amid a growing competitive environment. Our teams worked collaboratively to help bring creative ideas to life in store and online.”
For more than 90 years, the LCBO was the exclusive place to purchase alcohol in Ontario, but amid an evolving marketplace where Ontarians have increased access, convenience, and choice, LCBO’s brand needed to evolve. They needed to forge a stronger emotional connection with their customers.
In 2018, the LCBO began its partnership with LG2 to transform their brand to better reflect what customers most valued in their relationship with LCBO and to help them remain their retailer of choice. The task was to deliver a new customer experience through branding, design, and communications across all customer touchpoints. Relevant new campaigns were also a must-have to evolve their relationship with Ontarians.
Working across the entire organization, a new brand strategy was developed around LCBO’s strengths as a retailer: great expertise and a wide selection. To bring this new positioning to life, we developed a new design system that accounted for everything—from in-store signage to packaging to social. Once in place, seasonal messaging was streamlined into six key annual campaigns with a digital-first approach. This required deep collaboration with LCBO to consistently roll out their new brand platform across 680 stores while expanding their online presence.
The new brand platform helped enhance customer perceptions of the LCBO. A calendar of seasonal promotions and campaigns brought the brand to life by tapping into key moments throughout the year when customers were seeking expert advice and great products. These targeted campaigns improved LCBO’s reputation as a best-in-class retailer with more than 80% of Ontarians reporting that they view the LCBO as their preferred destination and having the best selection in a 2023 survey.
Although all net income from LCBO sales fund important public programs, and in-store fundraising has raised millions for their charity partners, in 2020 only 57% of Ontarians thought of the brand as having a positive impact. LCBO’s commitment to creating a more sustainable Ontario needed to be front and centre. Through the Spirit of Sustainability platform, a strategic partnership with Pride Toronto was formed along with a campaign platform that highlights LCBO’s commitment to an Ontario where every community has access to the opportunities they need to thrive.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, unprecedented times called for an unprecedented approach. The Pair It Forward campaign was designed to support and celebrate Ontario’s food and beverage industry when they needed it most. Using #PairItForward, social content was created featuring local producers and encouraged LCBO’s customers to share their favourite local pairings online. Today, 81% of customers agree that the LCBO makes a positive difference in Ontario through its many fundraising campaigns and strategic charitable partnerships.
Together, the LCBO is now able to stand out in a changing marketplace with a brand and strategy that is well-equipped to evolve with it. Cheers to the LCBO! Thank you for five fantastic years of creating progress for Ontarians.
The LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) is an Ontario government enterprise and one of the world’s largest retailers and wholesalers of beverage alcohol. They offer more than 28,000 products annually from more than 80 countries to consumers and licensed establishments. They operate more than 680 retail stores and wholesale to more than 400 agency stores and 450 grocery stores across the province. Through their Spirit of Sustainability platform, they are committed to supporting the province’s social and environmental needs and creating a more sustainable Ontario.