Tinker & Hack is a retail and e-commerce store specializing in alternatives to home electronic products to help the consumer save money on monthly household bills, like cable, Internet and phone. The products they sell include Android smart boxes, HD antennas and installation and Internet services. Their goal is to teach customers about cost effective solutions that are much more affordable than the other major service providers, Rogers and Bell.
Tinker & Hack, like the name suggests, offers D.I.Y. solutions for any person who is looking to save money on cable and phone services. For example, HD Antennas offer free local channels for life and Android boxes will give you streaming content for free.
Also, with the emerging of D.I.Y. technology for the youth and for the average consumer, there was a market to also sell mini computer boards and accessories, products like Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
Creating a brand for Tinker & Hack required thorough research to understand the positioning of competitors from electronic stores to online e-commerce. Future Shop, Tiger Direct and RadioShack had closed their doors in the past year (2015) and smaller “mom & pop” electronic stores mostly served the local community. Tinker & Hack is very niche, only specializing in free TV solutions and anything closely related to help leverage the category, ie. TV stands, TV mounts, HD antenna installation, etc.
Based on their central location in the city and close to major highways, Tinker & Hack wanted to be so well versed in HD antennas and Android TV boxes, to the point where customers throughout the Greater Toronto Area and outside would come to Tinker & Hack to inquire about their products and purchase it; and that is what happened.
Major big box store competitors, some of which have closed.
Multiple location or single location competitors offering products and brands on par with the major big box store but at competitive prices.
Discounted electronics stores offering a variety of small and large brands
Liquidated warehouse and stores, offering a little more than just electronics
Strictly online stores or store comparison shopping with a large inventory with product reviews and ratings.
An entire brand program was created for Tinker & Hack from logo brand design, store design, graphic elements, web design using Shopify, P.O.P. signage, magazine and direct mail. The retail store was designed under a strict budget and with the eco-friendly lifestyle that the owners were known for, the interior design mostly used wooden crates and large spools that were refurbished into furniture and store displays. Within the first six months of opening, Tinker & Hack had 4700 orders.
A small trade show was managed at the local annual Vietnamese New Year’s Festival to help increase brand awareness of their main product iTV Viet and other services that Tinker & Hack offered.
"I'm extremely pleased with the service I received while visiting Tinker and Hack's showroom. I found them through Google while looking for better alternatives for cable TV. I decided to drop by and the owner of the company spent the time to learn about what my needs were. I was offered a few solutions that would work for me. I walked out with 2 of the same products, one for myself and one for my boyfriend. I've since referred many friends to them who've successfully purchased products!"
"This is the best start-up business I've ever encountered. The owner will walk you around the store answering any questions you have, will teach you about new technologies and offer advice with absolutely 0% sales pressure. I've been sending my co-workers, family and friends here and everyone has been ecstatic with Tinker and Hack. I hope this company flourishes!"
"I visited this store for the first time this week to educate myself on some new technologies before I made a purchase decision. The staff was extremely knowledgeable, honest and helpful. Based on my experience I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this store to anyone."
"This is a great store, very knowledgeable and helpful personnel, they can suggest something valuable and really needful."