Over a business/social lunch yesterday, one of our group recounted a story of meeting a tourist on the main street of Haliburton Village. The visitor asked where the Tim Horton’s was, as they were having difficulty finding it. They were told that Haliburton Village has no Tim Horton’s. The tourist was dumfounded into silence. A community without a Tim Horton’s …. in Canada. How can that be?
We had a good chuckle at the story and that, sorta naturally, led to a discussion of things that might make our community more appealing. We had lots of ideas, some of which have been mentioned by others, and most are predicated on having a thought out economic development strategy. Not something that can be done overnight, but well worth embarking on to ensure that the community has an attainable vision.
I watched this video about the nature of choice and happiness and found that it triggered another way of looking at things. The concepts apply to literally any marketing challenge and Malcolm Gladwell’s presentation suggests that, in the realm of economic development, perhaps a community without a Tim Hortons or a McDonalds or a Swiss Chalet and various other, national brand, retail businesses can have its own unique appeal for people looking for a different style and pace in their community of choice. Malcolm talks about Howard Moskowitz, the American market researcher and psychophysicist and how he changed the development of spaghetti sauce.
It goes without saying that people will look for basic infrastructure in their community of choice, but by gathering in data and employing the analysis, by clever minds like Howard Moskowitz, I would imagine that it is more likely that you will make intelligent decisions for the future.
Maybe not having a Tim Horton’s IS OK.