The Top Button Advantage

A brand is like a dress shirt: if you don’t get the top button right, the whole garment goes askew. It doesn’t look or fit as it should. We believe every company needs and deserves a smart, sustainable brand philosophy to motivate its people and inspire its communications.


A Top Button can:

    • Compel your customers to be fiercely loyal.
    • Separate you from your competitors.
    • Inspire your employees to rise above process and work with pride and purpose.
    • Support consistent, meaningful and riveting communications.
    • Strengthen your brand – and your business.

When you have a Top Button, you have a plan.


Buttoned up but never the same way twice, our process inspires clarity and forward-motion by helping businesses find and forge a space in the market they can own. We’ve worked with B2B and B2C companies across all categories, positioning brands and delivering the marketing and communications programs that bring them to life. We’d be pleased to share our case studies on current and recent clients including:

An international youth entertainment company, transitioning its brand and its messaging to make the leap to prime time television

A global CEO recruitment specialist, keen to identify and articulate his unique value to blue chip clients and discerning candidates

A heritage travel media company, looking to define its value and find its voice in an industry disrupted by technology and data like no other

A national purveyor of luxury yachts, seeking a fully articulated brand to attract, engage and convert the coveted one-percent

A European manufacturer of dental and medical equipment looking to define and unite three fiercely independent sub-brands under one umbrella

A national specialty channel in search of a roadmap to modernize and reinvent itself for a new generation of viewer

An organizational development and executive coaching company seeking an aspirational platform to define and distinguish itself in a crowded marketplace

A luxury real estate partnership keen to rise above the transactional by defining what superior service looks like

A national media company seeking brand and editorial leadership in delivering premium, brand-sponsored Influencer content to 10+million Canadians

An award-winning marketing design company interested in creating a value proposition that connected with its audiences on a higher level.

A Millennial entrepreneur taking his multi-million dollar renovation business to the next level by inviting Ontario homeowners to unlock the income potential beneath their feet

A national cancer organization developing a one-of-a-kind resource to help patients face their journey with insight, courage and confidence


Upon returning to Spencer Stuart Canada after several years in our Asia Pacific offices, I looked to Top Button to develop a personal brand proposition that would help me re-enter a competitive marketplace with intent. Quick to grasp a complex category, Top Button framed my go-to-market strategy, delivered the insights and focus that galvanized my efforts, and made the value of my offering abundantly clear to board and CEO audiences.

Jeff Hauswirth
C-Suite and Senior Executive Recruiter, Spencer Stuart

Top Button delivers a master class on how a big strategic insight can be explained in a simple, accessible idea that has great power and allure. Beyond selling the value of executive coaching and organizational development consulting, Top Button positioned Elevate as the unique, must-have component of the equation.

Barbara Morris-Blake
President, Elevate Organizations

Fresh TV is a world-leading family entertainment producer. As president, I am continually reassessing our rapidly changing marketplace. I have turned to Top Button repeatedly to help us define and refine our brand’s unique, enduring appeal. Top Button’s analytical, strategic and creative approach have been invaluable in helping us see and present our business in a whole new light.

Tom McGillis
President, FreshTV

Pat’s work speaks directly to his talent and capabilities. This is one very solid creative guy. Our agency reel is better because of him. Atop his creative prowess is one funny individual whose insight and observational skills almost always lead to laughter. Doing amazing work and busting a gut along the way, who doesn’t want that?

Andrew Bruce,
CEO, Publicis Communications North America

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Katherine for nearly two decades and wholeheartedly recommend her as having one of the most insightful strategic minds of anyone I’ve worked with. Katherine has a unique gift of being able to transfer her insights into powerful copy and thought provoking articles that makes her invaluable in strategic and creative leadership settings.

Stephan Argent
President, The Argedia Group

Katherine and Top Button were fundamental in our ability to conquer the challenge of building and launching a new platform. Beyond being a treasure and inspiration to work with, Katherine’s innovative approach to storytelling and communication truly made a difference in our ability to design editorial content and strategies that resonated with our audiences. From both the brand positioning and the editorial standpoint, her guidance and management provided valuable perspective and direction on every step of our challenging journey.

Sarah Bobas
VP, Content + Creative Strategy, Jones Media

Pat fully immerses himself in the client’s business, quickly gaining a deep understanding and, more importantly, a perspective on the broader business, competitive and category context. And once he has that, he bangs out idea after idea that stands out, makes clients a bit uncomfortable (in the right way) and backs them up with sound, strategic rationale. On top of that, he’s got loads of energy, great boardroom presence and a tell-it-like-it-is attitude that makes the people that matter, listen.

Roy Gruia
Group Account Director, Zula Alpha Kilo

During the years Katherine worked with IKEA, our exposure to the media and innovative personality took on a whole new dimension. Thinking outside the box while respecting IKEA values, Katherine delivered time and time again, blending the IKEA spirit of simplicity, humility and innovation with Canadian values and trends.

Laurence Martocq
PR Manager, IKEA Canada


Katherine Gougeon

Founder//Director of Brand + Strategy

After 8 years of delivering insight-rich strategies and flawless copy to blue chip clients on behalf of agencies like TBWA/Chiat Day, TAXI, DDB, Reactor, ICE and ICE NY, Katherine launched icandy, an ideas company dedicated to generating chemistry between brand and audience. For flagship client IKEA Canada, Katherine masterminded a series of national news campaigns and live events that positioned the retailer as an expert in solving ‘modern dilemmas’. Katherine’s 7-year creative partnership with IKEA garnered accolades from (and replication within) IKEA worldwide, won an ACE award, and inspired Marketing Magazine to name IKEA ‘(PR) Marketer of the Year’. When Katherine isn’t branding, she’s blogging about marketing, media and culture. She also freelances for such publications as The Globe &Mail, The National Post, Elle Canada and Toronto Life Fashion – a happy sideline that keeps her in touch with editors, pop culture and trends.

Pat Pirisi

Chief Creative Officer

With 20+ years of experience in the agency advertising world, Pat has served as Creative Director/Writer for some of Toronto’s most storied agencies, running large brands across all their lines of business and every conceivable channel. He has created brand architecture and strategy for countless brands across a broad spectrum of categories, including automotive, packaged goods, financial, retail, and the public sector. As CD of Chiat Day, Pat combined strong business leadership with award-winning creative on Nissan, Infinity, AGF Mutual Funds, Nokia, Shopper’s Drug Mart, The Canadian Cancer Society, Enbridge and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. During his ten-year tenure at Publicis during which he won international awards on Cadbury, Kia Motors, Purolator, Wal-Mart, Toronto Blue Jays, City of Toronto, and Amsterdam Brewery, Pat was instrumental in growing the agency from a small shop to the largest agency in the country. See Pat’s work at