Wednesday, August 27

Burger King & Tim Hortons

Burger King announced its intention to purchase the Canadian "coffee" company Tim Hortons this week, a move that would make the combined entity the third largest fast food chain ... although there is no intention of actually merging the two brands together; each brand will still operate as separate brands.

Clearly the synergies are very obvious.

The move may not have made quite the splash it did without one other wrinkle that was added to the equation:  a move to Canada.

In an attempt to lower taxes, the combined entity will move to Canada where Tim Hortons is based.  This didn't sit well with the consuming public, who made their feelings quite public.  Fans and followers took to social media, especially Facebook, to express their patriotism.

Admittedly, it's a move that flies in the face of a recent trend toward American goods, particularly with the rise of Detroit, right on the border of Canada.

Generally speaking, I'm not sure it's ever mattered much where company headquarters are located, and in the past I'm not sure anyone would have noticed or cared.

But in the age of social commentary, the court of social opinion makes decisions on every aspect of a brand, in this case including the location of its headquarter offices.  It didn't play well to people because they perceived it as an anti-American move to merely save money ... moving jobs to another country to save money, yet still banking on American customers to make that money.  People didn't like it.

Proving once again that a brand is made up of many elements and each of those elements has to be well played for a total brand experience.  Including something you may not have thought through before, like the location of your headquarters.

What do you think?  What's your experience?  JIM.

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