EDMONTON, Alberta — Strategy magazine recently named Denise Gohl-Eacrett, Fountain Tire's director, brand and customer experience, and Susan O'Brien of Canadian Tire Corp. as 2019 Marketers of the Year.
The award, given by a publication that covers Canada's national marketing community, recognized marketing leaders who stand out from their peers with breakthrough marketing, branding and creative campaigns.
Kristi Dubeau, general manager, marketing at Fountain Tire, said Ms. Gohl-Eacrett has advanced the tire dealer's branding.
"What is unique in our organization is that we have a network of store manager/owners we work with to deliver on the in-store customer experience," Ms. Dubeau said. "Within this partnership, Denise led the pivot of our brand to one with enhanced focus on the customer, initiated meaningful sponsorships to bring the brand to life, and continually championed collaboration with and among our agency partners to deliver creative campaigns."
In her position, Ms. Gohl-Eacrett is responsible for Fountain Tire's external communications to drive awareness through to supporting long-term customer relationships among the dealership's 160 stores in Canada.
She reinvented the company's brand, from its humor-based platform to a human one, Fountain Tire said, reflected in the tagline "We're on this road together."
Her team and agency partners launched a series of activations to communicate safety ("Safest Highways") and problem-solving ("Fountain Tire Truck-Thru"), while acquiring new sponsorships and activations with the Nantional Hockey League ("Fanbods") and Western Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League ("Fountain Tire 3 Stars").
The company's marketing group was reorganized to support the brand from the inside out, Fountain Tire said, with the addition of its digital customer support team.
Ms. O'Brien, senior vice president, marketing and corporate affairs for Canadian Tire, is working to make the retailer Canada's No. 1 retailer by 2022, its centennial year. That has meant Ms. O'Brien has made the company more "consumer-centric."
A survey earlier this year of 30,000 Canadians found that Canadian Tire is the "most admired brand" in the country, jumping from No. 3 in 2018.
The women accepted their awards in Toronto recently alongside fellow Marketers of the Year from the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Hershey Canada Inc. and Clorox Co. of Canada Ltd.