5eptentrional

Values ​​and identities of Quebec companies

VALEURS ET IDENTITÉS DES ENTREPRISES QUÉBÉCOISES

Quebec is currently fertile ground for entrepreneurial spirit. Businesses are multiplying as the digital age makes it easier to share the passion for local 'handmade'.

Driven by a desire to share the values ​​that are dear to them, local businesses compete in creativity to offer quality products that will appeal and be useful to Quebec consumers. But what is the place of the Belle Province among companies? What are the values ​​of our Quebec companies? How is their identity unique? It is with the answers of a few entrepreneurs that I have tried to paint a portrait of the motivations behind Quebec entrepreneurship.

Quebec influence

The role of the consumer

Of course, the customer is necessarily a turning point in the local market. It is its purchasing power that allows or not the growth of companies. It is therefore essential to consider their needs and desires when deciding to enter the market. To do this, it is necessary to check that the clientele will be receptive to the product offered, in particular by a market study, underlines Jessica Lemieux of 5eptentrional .

What is the average Quebec consumer looking for according to the entrepreneurs questioned? The quality. He buys a handmade product instead of a manufactured product to encourage Quebec producers, and a certain pride comes from that. He is looking for a unique product and will often go for a crush.

Chocolates Genevieve Grandbois

Chocolates Genevieve Grandbois

For Geneviève Grandbois , who owns an artisanal chocolate factory specializing in the creation of refined chocolates, quality is a source of innovation. The company is multiplying its initiatives and constantly innovating to offer quality products to its customers: “every month, we create a new flavor, the New. Moreover, we have a chocolate called Noir, which changes according to the origin of the cocoa. We have reinvented the chocolate bars, here we have the squares. Also, our hot chocolate is not a powder, but many pieces of chocolate that you have to melt in hot milk,” says Véronique Chalifoux, communications manager.

Les Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois are experiencing significant success in which this constant innovation necessarily has a role to play: “Since our entry into the world of chocolate, we have developed with boutiques on the island of Montreal as well as on the Web. We opt for a contemporary French style. We distinguish ourselves by reinventing classic chocolates for gourmet and refined chocolates. Our mission is to sweeten people's lives through our chocolates,” adds Véronique.

Finally, buying local can also stem from environmental and ethical motivations . For example, when the consumer chooses a local product because it is more respectful of the environment and the people who work to make it.

Inspirational place

The place of establishment of a company necessarily comes to play on the identity of the latter. Whether it is through the clientele present or the needs to be met, the place where a company is based has a great impact on the form it will take, influencing its marketing strategies and its customer service. A company's products can even be derived from observation of the environment in which it operates.

northern values ​​and identity of Quebec companies

5northern

5eptentrional is a good example. The company specializes in the reuse of glass bottles because some of them, such as wine and spirits bottles, are not returnable in Quebec. The founder of the company then tried to solve an ecological problem present in Quebec society by transforming the bottles into utilitarian articles.

Key corporate values

Starting a business can be tough. The efforts invested cannot always be rewarded immediately. This is why it is essential to have audacity, passion and a good ability to adapt. The product offered must be unique and must stand out from the others. It is necessary to dare, even if there is always an element of risk. Failure is always possible, but with a good dose of resilience, we can overcome all the difficulties.

The element that makes the difference is certainly passion . It allows you to dedicate yourself entirely to this new project and helps to not count the hours, knowing that the start of a new company requires an incalculable amount of work. Adapting is also one of the keys for a young company. Indeed, it is absolutely necessary to adapt your product to your customers.

ADzif

ADzif

This is one of the elements that has contributed to the success of the company ADzif , which offers wall stickers and decorative accessories: “a product that is booming in Europe that we have completely adapted locally with designers from here. We have set up a collective of artists who have made our reputation for the quality of our creations and their originality. Today, it is more than 1300 products created by 30 artists from here and elsewhere.

Finally, local entrepreneurs also point out that respect is an important value for Quebec entrepreneurship. Whether through the mutual aid that binds them together or through the relationships they have with their collaborators or their approach to the products and resources used, respect is an integral part of their mentality.

Personal factors in corporate identity

Personal values ​​and criticism of society

The identity of a company is based first and foremost on the experiences and values ​​of its founder.

It is these that determine the direction of a company. An entrepreneur's values ​​and principles can guide his or her choices about the product he or she will design.

Little Yogi

Little Yogi

The example of the company Little Yogi , which offers unisex clothing for children, illustrates this fact very well: "I was a sexologist by training and my fields of interest were mainly with regard to the development of children from 0-5 years. My whole business project started from this reflection, to know if fashion, as dichotomous as we know it with regard to sex, could have an impact on the internalization of certain sexual stereotypes in children. It's quite obvious when entering a children's store that the messages are not the same depending on the sex to which the garment is addressed, ”explains Nancy Caouette, founder of the company. To solve this problem, the designer launched her line of clothing where all the pants, in addition to having unique illustrations and printed on organic cotton, look just as good on girls as on boys.

The environment, a source of innovation

The environmental awareness of entrepreneurs can also come to play a big role when choosing the manufacturing method and the mode of production of the product they will offer. This criticism of the world in which we live makes it possible to create products in response to current environmental concerns while meeting the needs of a population in question.

Shop Without Fuss

Shop Without Fuss

Sans Chichi , a company specializing in children's clothing, turned to clothing recycling following a revealing realization.

"After returning to school in 2016, in fashion design, Julie Martineau realized, when she sorted out the wardrobe, a service she was currently offering to her clients, that textile waste did not fit with her values. and therefore begins to imagine what it is possible to make with the clothes that you no longer want in your wardrobe. She steals all her husband's old shirts and begins transforming them for her two daughters, only to realize that a whole creative world is opening up to her,” explains the two entrepreneurs. The two designers, Julie Martineau and Barbara Fillion, now offer a range of clothes made from recycled shirts to counter clothing waste while dressing children in style.

Change of identity

Sometimes, we realize along the way that we are no longer on the right track. We realize that the company we have built no longer resembles us, that over time it has moved away from our personal values. A return to basics is then necessary, even if it means starting a new business to ensure that you are more in tune with yourself.

thousanddays

thousanddays

The company Miljours changed the identity of its company a few years ago in order to transmit the values ​​from which it felt it had moved away with its previous company: "I wanted to put forward my personal values-product of quality, transparency towards the customer, fair price, eco-responsibility and sustainability, slow made collections (do less, but better!)-. I said no to the standards of the fashion industry which does not disclose its suppliers, its prices, the origin of the products. I opt for transparency towards the client,” explains designer Marie-Anne Miljours.

“When I moved from Matu to Miljours, it was first and foremost a change of course with the business model. I went from a more traditional model to a more personal model, closer to my clientele”, explains Marie-Anne. The methods and operation of his business no longer suited him, no longer resembled him. Instead of continuing to follow fashion trends, the designer chose to follow her own pace.

Ultimately, a company's identity is more complex and broader than the insight one gets from reading the “About” corporate websites. It is based on many personal factors such as the values ​​and principles of the entrepreneur, but also on cultural factors relating to the environment in which the business operates, such as the clientele, the characteristics of the location, the values ​​of the present society and of the companies already established, etc.

Behind every company there are passionate people who want to convey a bit of who they are through their products.

Thanks to the companies 5eptentrional , ADzif , Little Yogi , Sans Chichi , Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois and Miljours for their participation in the article.

Revised September 2021 by Ariane L.

Coverage: Thousand Days

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