I recently attended an Ottawa “Mayor’s Breakfast” with the fairly new President and CEO of Tim Hortons Inc., Marc Caira. In his address he laid out his history in the food business (old-school name brands like Nestle) and his view for the future of the iconic Tim Hortons brand. In it he relayed some interesting but not altogether surprising stats:
– 8 of 10 coffees served daily in Canada are from a Tim Hortons
– 42% of all daily Canadian restaurant traffic is at a TH
– 99% brand recognition in Canada
It really is big! But aside from a couple of technology mentions here and there, no clear ideas were put forward about integrating social media with the brand. This when the three main business focuses of the company are (in order) to grow the brand in Canada, win a sizable share of the US market and grow international sales in primarily the Gulf States.
In many ways, growing in Canada may be the biggest challenge as Canadians may be immune to their current marketing. Reaching new Canadian is the key. But with most of Canada’s immigration coming from, by far, China, Philippines and India – a tech-savvy market – no new social marketing ideas were mentioned. Please see this article on Canadian immigration.
But in a recent article in The Globe and Mail, big changes seem to be on the way including an “order app” to cut wait times.
I decided to compare the home pages of leading coffee purveyors.
On the Tim Hortons homepage, there is a lot of clutter but lots of opportunity to add your comments as well as a rolling Twitter feed.
In a considerably less cluttered websites, Starbucks and Bridgehead present opportunities for customer server to enhance the customer experience but the main focus is on the ethical sourcing of the coffee and tea.
So Timmy is learning and seems to be applying what it learns on social media. But we’ll see if their market share grows.