Canadian brands target new immigrants with ‘Welcome Pack’

Nothing says, “Welcome to Canada” like a Tim Hortons gift card, a Royal Bank savings account offer and an explanation of the country’s archaic tax system.

These are just some of the products new immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area could receive starting this fall as a result of a new marketing initiative created by the folks at Markham-based Dyversity Communications.

The “WelcomePack Canada” program is actually a box filled with gift cards, coupons and products from up to 40 brands. The box – which is also designed as a keepsake - will also have handouts offering advice and information for newcomers on everything from establishing a credit rating to the various taxes citizens’ must pay.

Albert Yue, managing director of Dyversity and president and CEO of WelcomePack, said the program was designed based on the past experiences of immigrants like him trying to get acclimatized in Canada.

“I travelled the immigrant journey and when I first arrived 20 years ago I didn’t know what Tim Hortons was about, or the Bay,” said Yue, who came from Hong Kong in 1992.

“It’s really about understanding the mindset of new immigrants. All the brands are new to them. These are the brands that will take the first step to say hello. It’s almost like when you move into a new neighbourhood and your neighbours bother to come by and say hello, ‘Welcome to the neighbourhood.’ That is a nice gesture.”

Yue is up front about the fact that it’s also a great opportunity for his company and the brands - some of which are his clients - to reach out to the new Canadians with their products.

“It’s about multicultural marketing and Dyversity being a leader in that space,” he said. “It serves as a tremendous opportunity for brands that want to reach out and turn these newcomers into loyal customers.”

While the companies that will be involved in the program haven’t yet been finalized, it’s not surprising to hear the iconic Tim Hortons coffee company is among the dozens of names on the shortlist.

“We are in dialogue with Tim Hortons,” said Yue. “They welcome newcomers, and make it a theme in their commercials. It would be a natural [fit].”

To qualify to receive the WelcomePack, newcomers must be in Canada for less than two years. Participants who sign up for the program do have the option to opt out at any time, Yue said.

As for the companies that will be included in the program, Yue said there is competition among brands that offer the same products and/or services. For instance, only one bank, one car company and one coffee company will be selected to be part of the offer.

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