Bill Moir

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Bill Moir's marketing philosophy for Tim Hortons is simply "to sell more stuff."

And that he is doing. With 2005 sales forecast to reach $2.9 billion, Tim Hortons is the No. 1 fast-food chain in Canada, one of the few countries where McDonald's Corp. doesn't reign supreme.

Started in 1964 as a single coffee and doughnut shop in Hamilton, Ontario, by National Hockey League star Tim Horton and ex-policeman Ron Joyce, the company today has more than 2,700 outlets, including 260 in the U.S., a growth market for Tim Hortons.

The fast-food chain specializes in three product categories: hot and cold beverages, especially coffee; bakery and snack products; and lunch items, always freshly made. Tim Hortons merged with Wendy's International in 1995, but is run as an entirely separate entity, with its headquarters in Oakville, Ontario.

Mr. Moir, 57, describes his job as one that combines building brand image with "getting more bodies through the doors." His marketing department has flourished. When Mr. Moir arrived in 1990, the marketing staff numbered eight; the exec VP now has a department of 60 and a marketing budget that has increased tenfold. While Mr. Moir won't reveal the dollar amount he controls, Tim Hortons is on TV, radio and billboards 52 weeks a year along with point of purchase for every new product promotion (about one per month).

Add to that a huge sponsorship program, from the NHL to curling and fishing; a popular "Roll Up the Rim to Win" promotion with prizes lurking under the rim of coffee cups; and involvement in soccer, baseball and, especially, hockey programs ranging down to community leagues involving about 110,000 kids. Mr. Moir also sits on the board of the Tim Horton Children's Foundation, sending disadvantaged kids to five camps in Canada and one in the U.S.

Among Mr. Moir's traffic-building programs over the past year, he made Tim Hortons outlets the only direct channel for obtaining the first Canadian coin with color produced by the Canadian Mint-a Remembrance Day quarter with a red poppy.

It doesn't stop there. He works closely with the research and development team to introduce new products, and with senior management on U.S. expansion.

Mr. Moir honed his skills at K-Tel International and Labatt Breweries of Canada. "They helped me to understand consumers and the need to watch for trends," he says.

Paul Wales, president of JWT-owned Enterprise Advertising, Tim Hortons's agency for 15 years, says: "Bill is always just ahead of consumers' expectations of the brand and, at the same time, not getting too far too fast ... He understands both store managers and consumers."

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