The growth of Tim Hortons has been historically fueled by suburban expansion and a focus on providing a quick and quality food and beverage service experience. The organization, working with Shikatani Lacroix, noted an opportunity as part of their expansion plans to develop a retail strategy targeting urban consumers who have grown up on specialty coffees and seek locations to meet and work. With more than 75 percent of the Canadian population expected to be living in urban settings by 2025, Tim Hortons felt it was important to be relevant to these emerging and younger consumers.
“The role of the urban café has changed dramatically over the years, moving from a simple refill station to one that provides a greater experience for the modern patron who seeks an experience beyond a quick cup of coffee,” says Jean-Pierre Lacroix, President of Shikatani Lacroix.
In order to adapt to this shift in demographics, Tim Hortons retained Shikatani Lacroix to design a new brand experience appealing to the urban customer that leveraged the brand’s unique equities in a new and contemporary approach. Shikatani Lacroix conducted brainstorming sessions with Tim Hortons management and franchisees to explore a range of ideas that effectively evolved the brand in new and distinctive directions that were then further validated with both staff and urban consumers.
“The Shikatani Lacroix process allowed us to collaborate with our franchise partners and key functional areas within the organization to explore a wide range of options from evolution to revolution,” says Nick Javor, Senior Vice President of Development for Tim Hortons.
The result was a focus on a distinctive décor, atmosphere and seating, all branded under the Tim Hortons “Coffee House” banner. The urban design allowed the chain to challenge current perceptions of the brand while going beyond function to create a contemporary experience where customers feel comfortable lingering, visiting with friends and catching up on work. Tim Hortons opened the doors to its new Tim’s Coffee House in Toronto’s TD Tower at 77 King Street West, inviting customers to enjoy the relaxing and comfortable space.