Build A Relationship By Talking Out Of Your Hat…

It will be perfectly clear to any Lowedown reader that has met me, (or seen the photo at the top of the email for that matter) that when the sun is shining, some bits of yours truly will go bright red a lot faster than others … and it for this reason I have allowed myself a modest collection of hats.

Once you have excluded the one ‘acquired’ by amusing but unrepeatable means from an Eastern Bloc policeman and the Kangaroo skin one, used primarily ‘Down Under’ for keeping the sun off and waving ineffectually at spiders … you will find the remainder are mostly supplied by ‘Tilly Endurables’ of Toronto, Canada.

These hats were selected not because they were ‘the best hats in the world’, in fact I found a dozen other manufacturers proclaiming exactly the same the thing … but I was attracted by the way it was made plain that what you were doing was so much more than merely buying a hat…

It seems Tilly hats are usually favoured by the more ‘outdoorsy’ types among us who go about both home and abroad and wander around exploring and prodding the local wildlife with sticks. This being the case, the website is packed full of the adventures that the folks have had with their hats, especially those from the more ‘windswept and interesting’ members of their clientele…

Whether it be the story of how a hat became an improvised ice bucket or inherited from the Grandfather that had worn it all round the world, a whole kind of mini folklore has been nurtured and allowed to grow around these hats, most centred, very cleverly, around their virtual indestructibility, (one most famously emerging unscathed after passing through the digestive system of a Elephant)

My favourite story though (I remember seeing it when I made my first purchase 6 or 7 years ago but can’t seem to locate it on the website at the moment) concerns a couple of Tilly hat owners, who were far away and slightly off the beaten track when they spotted some figures approaching them in the distance …  they were of course increasingly nervous as to what fate had in store for them, until they saw that the approaching group were also wearing Tilley hats and therefore had to be the ‘right sort’ 😉

In fact, now that it’s ‘gone public’ that I’m the owner of a brace of Tilly hats, I will almost certainly get emails from Lowedown readers who are also Tilley hat owners detailing their own experiences – it’s just that kind of thing…

I mention this, not because I think everybody should be buying a Tilly hat but because it is a perfect example of how you can inject some personality into products to make them more attractive to the potential buyer, and how introducing a story around them will create that ‘extra dimension’ and make them stand out from a mass of very similar products.

I really would encourage you to spend some time looking around the site to see for yourself the way the whole experience of obtaining a Tilly hat is built up so that you are not so much making a purchase as joining the club of other Tilly hat owners…

When you are building a relationship with your customers, it is important to use similar methods to add depth and substance to what you are telling them … though you must always be genuine … let people know the ‘story’ behind what is going on – it will create a lasting impression which can put you head and shoulders above those who are churning out the same generic nonsense…

Until Next Time,


Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business Lowe Down

Tim Lowe