Why Tim Hortons is the most trusted brand in Canada

June 24, 2015

The new ranking of trusted brands released Tuesday and reported in the Globe and Mail cited Tim Hortons is the most trusted brand in Canada. The ranking is based on a survey of 3,125 Canadians completed by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

From the outside looking in, as a customer, shareholder and former employee (in the 1980s serving coffee and donuts) Tim Hortons is clearly practicing the Eight Principles of Building and Protecting Trust™ .

Here are a just some examples of how Tim Hortons has built a trusted brand with Canadians.

  • Tim Horton’s is predictable, consistent, and reliable. This is one of their greatest strengths. Research shows that reliably is the number 1 criteria to build trust. We know what to expect and there is consistency in everything we see and experience including their products, policies, locations, and messages. The coffee is always hot, the products taste the same in every store, the locations all look similar. Predictability, consistency and reliably reduce vulnerability and risk. When risk degrees, trust can increase.
  • Tim Hortons delivers on its promise of ‘always fresh’. The coffee IS always fresh, wherever you are. Whether you are in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Halifax or St. John’s. The polices and practices are aligned with the company promise.
  • They demonstrate they are listening to their customers by continuing to improve and innovate their products and stores. They replaced the individual tea bag with fresh brewed tea years ago in response to customer requests. More recently, they added dark roast coffee to appeal to the tastes of their customers after receiving feedback in 2013 that this is what customers wanted. (1)
  • Tim Hortons stores demonstrate transparency with glass and open kitchen areas and by posting nutrition information. For example, they openly report that the strawberry filled donut has 31 g of sugar and 290 calories. Most locations make the sandwiches in front of us so we can see the ingredients. In many locations ovens are out front and in some of the newly designed stores, for example in Debert, Nova Scotia, you can watch them coat donuts in sugar glaze from the front counter.
  • Across Canada, Tim Horton’s demonstrates its commitment to the communities where they operate. They sponsor events such as youth sports and the Tim Horton’s Children Foundation. Being a socially responsible corporate citizen strengthens a company’s trustworthiness.
  • Lastly Tim Hortons show us that they are committed to the long term of building and strengthening the trust it has with customers and stakeholders in many ways including surveying its customers regularly.

These are just some examples of how Tim Hortons has become the most trusted brand in Canada. Trust is a leading factor of success. Companies with high trust outperform the competition and produce higher rates of return.


  1. http://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/corporate