Miller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.
Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between
Toronto – August 19, 2013
One of the most interesting business relationships to study is the one between an organization and its customers. Tim Horton’s has some very loyal customers. If you have ever tried to get coffee or doughnuts from Tim Horton’s, you know what I mean. At any time of day, the lineup for the restaurant and the drive through is enormous. People have made it a part of their daily routine, waiting for upwards of 15-20 minutes to get their coffee in the morning.
So what does Tim Horton’s (informally know as Tim’s) do that makes customers so loyal that they are willing to wait long periods of time for coffee? Is it the quality of the coffee? I don’t think so. Is it the friendliness of the staff? Possibly, but not likely. Is it the variety? No. So what is it?
Tim Horton’s has done a brilliant job of becoming THE iconic Canadian brand. They have locations in every major city, but also in the smaller towns where most of their competitors won’t go. They have been able to tap into a sense of Canadian nationalism that compels people to get their coffee from Tim Horton’s. It’s a meeting place where you will see your neighbours and friends, and a chain you know will be in every city and town you visit. It’s a place where people feel like they are supporting a local business. They have created the perception that they are a company of the Canadian people and they are extension of family and home life. They are quintessentially Canadian. And it works.
Tim Horton’s has become a part of every community, and not just with its restaurants. By supporting local hockey teams and setting up sports development programs for kids, Tim Horton’s has engrained itself in the communities in which it operates. It has become an essential part of any community.
“An organization needs to create a culture and a message that resonates with its customers,” says Andrew Miller. “Tim Horton’s has positioned itself as a home away from home for its customers. A place where friends meet and and catch up on old times. Tim Horton’s has done a great job of tapping into the sense of pride and nationalism that Canadians have in anything and everything that is Canadian.”
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