Canadian Polar Bear Habitat

Phase 1: Vision, mission and positioning 

The Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat is looking to make a big impact – moving from a small, Northern Ontario tourist attraction to reposition themselves as a world-class research facility and polar bear sanctuary dedicated to improving the life of polar bears in human care and the protection of polar bears in the wild. Impact & Main started working with the Habitat in the fall of 2018 on a pro-bono basis.  We have helped them craft a new mission, vision and positioning for the Habitat 


The organization is facing several challenges: 

  • Awareness of the Habitat outside of Northern Ontario is low to non-existent, particularly with journalists and large corporate donors 
  • Awareness that the Habitat is a key global player in polar bear research and polar bear rescue is virtually non-existent 
  • Perception of the Habitat is more ‘zoo-like’ than a polar bear sanctuary or world-class research facility   
  • Marketing channels such as the web site do not position the Habitat as a serious research, rescue, or sanctuary facility 
  • The current logo has a tourism, child-like tone that does not reinforce the new direction of the Habitat 



Impact & Main facilitated a visioning and positioning work session with the Board of Directors and senior staff to help the group come to a shared vision. The work included: 

  • SWOT analysis 
  • Competitive comparison analysis 
  • Deep dive on the target audiences – the current and desired perceptions; relevant messages for each audience; relevant product offerings and tactics for each audience 

The result of this work was an exciting new mission, vision and positioning for the organization.  

The new mission statement –Saving polar bearsexpressed simply yet powerfully the organization’s transformed commitment; and the new vision statementSubstantially grow the impact the Habitat has on saving polar bears– expressed the globality of the organization’s opportunity. 

The Board of Directors and Cochrane Town Council made the bold decision to change the name of the organization and rebrand, setting the course for the organization to realize their transformational goals.  Brand the Canadian Polar Bear Habitat as a globally recognized research and education centre dedicated to improving the life of polar bears in human care and the protection of polar bears in the wild”  


Check out Phase 2: a new visual brand identity to reflect the new mission and vision and positioning.