Co-op Branding

"If we truly believe that co-operation is the answer, a co-operative capitalism that is kinder, fairer, that embraces human dignity and rights, that gradually reduces inequalities of wealth and power in the system, if this is what we believe then we’d better start telling people about it."

- Tony Patterson, Shout it Out




One in every four Ontarians is a member of a co-operative business or community organization, and yet there is very little understanding of the co-operative business model in our province. OCA is working hard to change this, and our objective is to help Ontario co-operatives create more members, customers and employees who are loyal to the co-operative movement.

In 2018, in partnership with Isaac Reputation Group, the OCA Board and some of our members went through a process to unify a message about the co-operative movement that could be used in a PR campaign by our sector. The process included interviews to generate ideas, the creation of an ad hoc marketing committee to review and narrow down messaging options and the ultimate decision by the board to go with “Tomorrow Needs Us” as our tag line. The messaging that explains the feelings we will convey in our future PR messaging is on this slide.

Once we decided on this tag line and messaging, the next step in early 2019 was to find partners to fund a very expensive campaign. Within our sector, there are many competing interests for PR dollars and it was not feasible in 2019 to launch a million dollar campaign to promote the co-operative sector.

Staff at OCA have decided to take the million dollar campaign idea off the table, and plan to launch regional campaigns starting with test markets in pockets of Ontario where we are either working on co-operative projects, or hope to launch projects in specific communities. We will integrate the project messaging with the PR messaging, and utilize social media messages and other low cost tactics to share our messages about co-operation to boost our co-operative development work. A more detailed plan will be developed in summer 2020 for launch in early 2021 - so stay tuned!

If you have any questions about this initiative, please contact Erin Morgan, Executive Director by email