Cracking the Quebec Code

When I was growing up in Ontario, I’d often hear so much strange stories about the province next door, most of it wasn’t the least bit flattering.   Upon moving here some 20 years ago, it was a culture shock.  It took me a good two years to really feel like I belonged.  Eventually, with much practice, I was able to order ice cream, pizza or poutine and use the correct lingo.  

Cracking The Quebec Code is not necessarily a book to devour as you would a mystery or romance novel.  You’ll probably pick it up, read a chapter or flip to something of interest within its pages.  Nevertheless, inside the pages you’ll find great insight based on 30 years of data collected from the Leger survey firm.

The book is divided into 7 color codes, each tackling a particular key to understanding Quebecers.  In essence, they are the seven identity traits that make the people of this province unique. As I read through them, one thing was absolutely clear to me based on my personal experience:  Quebec has changed over the 20 years that I’ve lived here.

There are statements made in the book that I whole heartily agree with, such as :“Quebecers are villagers through and through – loyal to their homes and shaped by them. They identify more with their region and their town or city than they do with their province or country.”  Yet there were other statements I just couldn’t get behind: “Quebec City residents have less joie de vivre than the rest of Quebec.” (ok, maybe because I live in there)

At the end of each color coded chapter you’ll have a section entitled “Breaking the Marketing Code” written by either Jean-Marc Leger or Jacques Nantel.  I loved these sections because they used current events and familiar topics to make their point. It felt relevant and fresh.  For instance; “searching for the origin of the poutine dish” or how, in Chapter 7, they describe Andre Dion and the risk he took while expanding Unibroue.  In addition, at the end of each chapter you’ll find a section with the title “Quebecers In Their Own Words. This section provides basic statistics and easy to read tableaus.

If you’re in business in Quebec or even thinking of doing business, you should run, yes run and grab a copy of this book. Actually buy a case and give them to members of your staff, especially the marketing team.   I’d also recommend this book to someone who is seriously considering immigrating to Quebec.  You could even gift this to an out of province friend who just doesn’t seem to understand it all.  

Overall, Cracking the Quebec Code made me smile, chuckle, and made me think happily on the past 20 years I’ve spent in this beautiful province.  This book is a treasure trove of information giving the readier some unique insight into the hearts and minds of contemporary Quebecers.

Le Code quebec

I spotted an ad for the french version of Cracking the Quebec Code  outside a bookstore recently.

Cracking The Quebec Code, The 7 keys to understanding Quebecers
Published by Juniper Publishing
192 pages

review copy provided courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada

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