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On November 15, LEVEL5 Strategy Group hosted its 2013 Open House – an annual event which attracts students and recent alumni from some of the top business schools in southern Ontario. This year, LEVEL5 welcomed more than a 100 attendees.   David Kincaid, LEVEL5’s founder and CEO, opened the event with an introductory speech on the philosophy of “Brand as a business system” and a brief history of the creation of LEVEL5. A Q&A panel ensued, wherein the attendants asked a variety of questions, addressing the milestones of LEVEL5 development, its culture, and the experience of working and interning at the company. At the end of the discussion, LEVEL5 conducted a customary prize raffle; to the surprise and delight of our attendants, the prizes this year comprised of three one-week internships, which provide a unique opportunity to gain personal insight into its work and culture. Following the prize draw, the attendants had a chance to speak with the team members in an informal social session, while sharing refreshments and snacks.   The team of LEVEL5 was thrilled with the level of enthusiasm displayed by the attendants. It is determined to continue hosting this event in order to meet Canada’s young talent and share its philosophy with the future business leaders.      

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We are finding some far-sighted leaders who are successfully applying the power of brand thinking to their own products and services. They’re proving already that their sectors were never unbrandable, but merely happened to be unbranded.  Until now.

Click on the link below to read this whitepaper:

Brand: The Secret to Success in Commoditized Categories




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The legacy of the iconic executive and pitchman behind President’s Choice.

Ken Wong, professor of marketing and business strategy, Queen’s University School of Business:


“Dave Nichol was a man loved by some and feared by others, but everyone respected his talents and vision. Beyond his impact on the industry’s private and controlled label practices, Nichol was among the first to recognize the power of the “story.” His Insider’s Report enveloped products and the entire Loblaw’s chain in stories that created something more than a shopping trip. You always knew when Nichols and his team entered an industry trade show: you could hear the buzz and watch the crowd part to make way. He changed the industry.”


David Kincaid, managing partner and CEO, LEVEL5 Strategy Group:


“Dave Nichol was a business visionary and pioneer. He recognized that a brand could impact the entire business system, from product development to vendor relationships to communications strategy. He almost single-handedly changed the grocery industry by introducing generic and private-label brands, turning President’s Choice into that rare consumer brand able to cross categories—it wasn’t just a cookie, but also a beer, a cooking sauce, even a bank. Before him, no one had been able to achieve that level of success. Canada mourns his loss but all of its business leaders have benefited from his brand vision.”


Read the full article by clicking here.

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Few professional experiences can be as exciting and overwhelming as taking on the CEO role for the first time.

Everything changes in unexpected ways; it’s not about climbing the next rung on the ladder, it’s a quantum leap into a new reality. Brand new CEOs need all the practical, impartial and time-tested advice they can get – the select few who can actually say, “Been there, done that.”

We have put together the top 10 “lessons learned” in building your personal brand as the new CEO.

We hope you find this helpful.

Brand Building for the New CEO_wb




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On Friday, July 19th, the LEVEL5 team woke up bright and early for a fun day at the Muskoka Bay Golf Club. The day started off with a speech from David and a business update from Ian, given in the form of a weather report. Next we had Sean who led the Employee Value Proposition activity. This generated an open discussion and gathered the perspectives of individuals from all positions. As a new intern, I was surprised and impressed with the positive corporate culture that is embraced by the entire team. It’s clear that LEVEL5 aims to create an environment that supports and recognizes growth as a team, as well as growth as individuals. After this activity, we celebrated as Paul received the Employee of the Year award and Patrick won the Kudos award for the month of July. Thanks to Angie and Lan we enjoyed some challenging but fun “Minute to Win It” games. Ben’s interesting strategy provoked laughter and fear as onlookers were forced to back away in order to avoid injuries. After lunch, volleyball took place in the pool while some headed to the driving range to test out their skills. Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favor that day and soon after a huge storm hit. Regardless of the wind and the rain, we still had tons of fun and laughed a lot. Thank you to the culture club for organizing such a great day! ~ Nicole Rasmussen/Intern