Tales from Under the Rim: The Marketing of Tim Hortons

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Question is, "How did Hortons do it? Tales from Under the Rim: Canadian Marketing Magic Buist tells how a little donut shop grew into a Canadian institution.

Tales from Under the Rim: The Marketing of Tim Hortons

From the eureka moment in to the no-frills contest's status as a defining feature of Canadian life. Come, learn, enjoy, and bring a coffee! Thanks again for helping make our Conference so very informative and enjoyable. Your presentation was both informative, and entertaining.

Return to Book Page. Tales from Under the Rim: The Marketing of Tim Hortons really liked it 4.

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Now available in paperback. You may not be familiar with Ron Buist, but you know his handiwork. Tales from Under the Rim is a behind-the-scenes look at a simple business that became a Canadian icon. Tales from Under the Rim chronicles the rise of Tim Hortons, from its humble beginnings to a national institution. T A National Bestseller.


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The recipe was simple: In this bestselling business memoir, Ron Buist shows how Tim Hortons became a second home to millions of Canadians. It includes the grass-roots marketing strategy that defined the early years, the Tim Hortons habit of listening to customers, and the whole story of Roll Up the Rim to Win, the no-frills contest that has become a defining feature of Canadian life. Paperback , pages. T hough Tims faced competition in its first three decades, the other donut shops proved to be small potatoes compared to what was coming.

Starbucks had promised to enter the market, bringing with it the perception of higher quality coffee. But how do you galvanize people to buy a product they can make in their own home? Culling through information from focus groups, they stumbled across the story of Lillian, a little old lady who lived in Nova Scotia, who would trek up and down a steep hill each day so she could enjoy a cup of coffee at Tims.

And they used the actual Lillian in the spot — making it a documentary of sorts, launched in These are the most memorable and effective commercials the brand has made, Middleton says. Just look at the lengths people would go to get a cup of Tims — it must be a superb experience. Lillian was all about perseverance; Sammy, about friendship.

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Canadians, Poad says, were becoming a more prideful people — finding their own identity and finding honour in their nationality, and campaigns began to reflect that — with tales of expats recreating Canadianess in their homes away from home including the requisite cup of Tims or Tims travel mugs worn as a badge of honour while travelling abroad. Cultural sociologist Patricia Cormack, professor at St. The Royal Canadian Mint chose the restaurant to be the exclusive distribution partner for special commemorative poppy coins, and here at strategy , we named it one of our Brands of the Decade.

F rom onwards, there was a sea change in the QSR space. The peaceful coexistence of the niche donut shop and nearby burger joints was over. And it had some success. Sales growth has hinged on its footprint growing, but the brand has nearly reached capacity, blanketing the Canadian landscape with the brown and red locales.

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To combat the decline, the QSR has started quietly renovating its locations with plush chairs, exposed bricks and Wi-Fi, encouraging people to once again sit for a while. The brand has also shuttered a number of its underperforming U.

Tim Hortons on CBS Sunday Morning

Faigelman agrees based on her own research, noting the change among Canadians in their cultural habits. The anniversary campaign also features special packaging from design firm Pigeon.


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It started very modestly. As Canadians shifted from small-town roots to suburban car culture to a more boastful nation, the brand ingratiated itself into our collective conscious.