Hats Off to Tilley Hat Marketing: An Example of Successful Branding & Customer Loyalty

Storytelling and Magic make Tilley Hats a Winner for Building Product Loyalty.

As we prepare for a Go Wild! Go GREAT!™ Now to WOW!™ Leadership Safari this week, my team introduced me to their Tilley Hats that they obtained for their trip to Egypt.  How is it that all of this time I had missed this incredible product, which is pure genius in both brand development and customer loyalty?

As my staff told me about their indestructible hat and the privileges of ownership, with great curiosity, I began sifting through the owner’s manual for the Tilley hat — which is signed by Alex Tilley.

What makes the Tilley Hat product and marketing so incredible?

1)  Guarantee and Powerful Customer Testimonials:

The Tilley hat Is guaranteed for Life — replaced free for life if it ever wears out.  In fact one testimonial that speaks to the product’s indestructibility is Michael Hackenberger from Ontario Zoo who had his Tilley Hat snatched from his head and eaten by an elephant 3 times!  Michael would later pick up his hat, wash it thoroughly and wear it. Note:  He has declined to accept a new one in order that the hat may make it to the Tilley Museum.

Another loyal customer writes “I was robbed of my autographed Tilley Hat at gunpoint — I must say that other than fearing for my life, I was extremely upset in losing my new hat… please send one immediately”

2) EGO Marketing — A Tilley Hat Makes you TISP (Trusted, Important, Special and Pleased)  The Brag Tag: 

Tilley hats come with Brag Tags that you can give to people who admire your fine Tilley.   The tag notes “Most Tilley Hat wearers and the person beside you is a prime example, are interesting people of sterling character.  It is well worth cultivating their acquaintance.  To that end, you’ll be pleased to learn it is customary to provide the giver of Tilley Hat procurement information with a WARM HUG, OR STAND HIM OR HER TO A DRINK.  WOW!” That’s marketing! Honoring your customers with royal status and giving them a card is certain to invite favors and traditions while exciting interest in your product.

PS:  the owner’s manual even tells where you can stow the brag tags in your hat.

3) Everyone will want one.  Your Tilley—Be careful!  The rule of scarcity and desire in marketing.

Through magical storytelling and wordsmithing, I am thoroughly convinced now that I need a Tilley.  We’re even told in the owner’s kit to print our name and phone number in the hat to give us a fighting chance of holding on to our prize possession!  And if product quality and client testimonials were not enough to convince you … apparently, there’s also magical laws of attraction at play when you own a Tilley.  One customer writes, “A friend of mine was walking alone along a beach in Jamaica wearing a Tilley Hat.  Approaching him came a woman also wearing a Tilley Hat.  ‘It was the entree to a glorious week-long affair’, he told me.”

4)  Humble beginnings and sharing the Small Business Story: 

I think many of just like buying a product from a company that began in their basement in 1980 and now has 3 global locations in Canada, the U.S and the UK.  It’s rags to riches success by creating a product, honoring your customers and telling your story in a unique and creative way.

Hats off to Tilley Hats!  A star in Now to WOW!™ Marketing and Branding.

© 2010 – 2015, Rosemary Rein. All rights reserved.

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