For over two centuries Truefitt & Hill, recognised as the finest traditional gentlemen's barber and perfumer in London, has provided discerning gentlemen with only the finest in grooming products and services. Our offering truly gives men the opportunity to look and feel their very best.
Established in 1805, the company remains the world's oldest barbershop as stated in the Guinness Book of records and are barbers and Royal Warrant holders to H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh. Today's product offering is the result of over 212 years of research and intimate customer relationships.
Linda Mountford, Managing Director of Truefitt & Hill North America, offers insights on the company's entry into the Canadian market.
BCCTC: How did you choose the new market(s)?
Linda Mountford: Truefitt & Hill has had a presence in Canada for almost 30 years. My previous office was about 30 feet from the shop and my son’s had their first haircuts at T&H, a lovely introduction.
BCCTC: Did you have a market entry strategy in place?
Linda Mountford: Not immediately but we established a new Canadian website and attended shows both within the business and open to the public within the Grooming community to gain broader reach.
BCCTC: How will culture affect your global business?
Linda Mountford: In recent years T&H has expanded throughout the world extending our product and services in India, Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia to name a few. Each culture has their own identity that might offer slightly different services from one location to another, however, all locations have strict branded guidelines so overall every location should have the same feel. Our products are all manufactured in the UK and exported around the world.
BCCTC: Did you considered all the costs of international marketing?
Linda Mountford: We are exclusive to North America. Our approach was to experiment in different areas to find which was the most effective. Hands on pop ups retailers and relationship building by far is the most effective as well as online marketing via Facebook and Google ads.
BCCTC: Did you have all the documents and processes in place?
Linda Mountford: Once we signed our contract with London we started form scratch.How was that target market different to your current market? There was a previous existence in the USA which we took over. The Canadian market is the same target market.
BCCTC: Did you need to adapt your products or services?
Linda Mountford: No.
BCCTC: Did you get a market research done?
Linda Mountford: No.
BCCTC: Did you research your competitors?
Linda Mountford: Yes – buying online competitors products to assess their process and shipping packaging.
BCCTC: And rules and regulations that you needed to comply with?
Linda Mountford: Branded guidelines we complied with.
BCCTC: Did you look for help? If so who? The Canadian government? EDC? BDC? A chamber of commerce? An independent consultant?
Linda Mountford: I looked for reasonable financing under my new corporation but interest rates were too high and limits too low. I self-funded using my personal lines of credit and credit cards.
BCCTC: Did you look for partners? If so, what’s the best way to select partners?
Linda Mountford: I was in a partnership. I think it is very difficult to find the right person with equal finances being invested, and a clear understanding of each responsibility again equally distributed. Family is most reliable and you know their work ethic.
To find out more about Truefitt & Hill, visit https://www.truefittandhill.ca/