Tim Hortons Plummets In Popularity In Marketing Survey

A new survey suggests Tim Hortons has fallen out of favour with Canadians, plummeting 25 points and dropping more than 40 spots from 2017 in an annual corporate reputation ranking.
The coffee-and-doughnut chain dropped from fourth place to 50th on a ranking of 100 companies Canadians most admire in a study conducted by Leger and National Public Relations.
National's managing partner Rick Murray says in the report that Tim Hortons was a perennial top five brand that we've previously believed impervious to issue, but has fallen mightily in the court of public opinion.
Marketing Analyst Tony Chapman says consumers are finding alternatives.

"If you dig a little deeper they're taking their business to Starbucks where they're trading up or McDonalds where they're getting a great cup of coffee at a great price point," says Chapman.

iStock/Valerie Loiseleux

He adds the product also makes a difference.

"Instead of baking the bread fresh they started bringing in frozen, the quality changed and the consumer paid attention," says Chapman.  "The first thing you have to do is get the product back to a quality standard the consumers expect from Tim Hortons."

Tim Hortons recently faced an onslaught of negative publicity as some of its Ontario franchisees clawed back employee benefits, like paid breaks, to help offset the province's minimum wage hike, claiming their corporate parent did not provide assistance. The move sparked nationwide protests and prompted some consumers to boycott the chain.

However, the survey shows it's possible for Tim Hortons to move back up in the standings next year. Samsung went from 24th place to fifth this year after fixing issues with some of its smartphones overheating and catching fire.

The top three brands in Canada are Google, Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian Tire.

About 2,100 respondents 18 years and older assessed each company in the online study between Dec. 19, 2017 and Jan. 29, 2018.