Trader Joe’s Marketing Mix “We tried it! We liked it! If you don’t, bring it back for a full refund, no questions asked. ” That is the product guarantee of Trader Joe’s. Product Trader Joes’ is a chain of grocery stores that stock many of the basic foods as well as hard to find, unusual items both local and international. They have a base of products they always carry while other products are a continuously changing mix: either rotated or simply only carried only once. It is not a one-stop store.
Most of the items sold are Trader Joe’s own brand under its own private label, and they don’t carry any of the national brands. They carry high quality, socially responsible cruelty-free items that are natural or minimally processed. Their image is of a neighborhood store that is meant to be a fun and rewarding experience to customers. The stores are casual and quirky and are decorated with colorful wall art and hand painted signs in the theme of local sites and attractions. Product signs on the aisles look like cards hand written with magic markers and featured items are announced on chalkboards.
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Trader Joe’s are friendly and customer oriented, an image that is reinforced by their casual Hawaiian shirt uniforms (a nod to their southern California origin) and enthusiastic personnel. Staff members are knowledgeable about their products and trained to give customers as welcoming experience. To complement the ambiance of the store, the communication system in the store is the ringing of a bell instead of intercom, the music is soft and pleasant usually oldies or seasonal tunes, and the cashier scanners are barely audible.
Price Prices are kept low, particularly in comparison to stores like Whole Foods, and are either comparable or lower than the prices seen for health foods and organic products in mainstream supermarkets. It is not a bargain store nor does it carry bargain items but in the “health food” market, if Trader Joe’s carries something, chances are they have it at a lower price. Promotion Their main form of advertising is The Fearless Flyer, a 16-page pamphlet distributed in the stores describing products that are seasonal highlights r are new to the store. Unlike the shoppers distributed by other supermarkets, The Fearless Flyer uses minimal muted colors, and no product pictures, just paragraphs with humorous descriptions and anecdotes of the 60-70 products featured, and recipes. Since 1996, Trader Joe’s has promoted itself online with its own website (traderjoes. com) where visitors can look for store locations, product information, food guides, recipes, and find information on food related social and environmental issues. In some cities, Trader Joe’s advertise on radio.
The ads are low key and, without any music, one of their store employees tells a story about one or two of their products in a minute. Trader Joe’s does not advertise in TV or newspapers. Except for the announcement of a new store opening, Trader Joe’s is more likely to be seen making news in its response to environmental and social issues than advertising in mainstream media. Where they shine in terms of promotion is in their public relations both in their commitment to health, social ethics and the environment, and in their dedication to the customer.
The store responds to the concerns of its customers, for example the website currently reassures that none of their seafood comes from suppliers involved in seal hunting, and in response to customer concerns it, for example, and eliminated foods with genetically modified ingredients, trans fats, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, and only carries eggs from cage-free hens2. However, their most effective form of promotion is their focus on giving the customer a positive shopping experience.
Their employee manual is a book of values about treating customers as valued guests with integrity and respect, and engaging them with an entertaining and enriching experience, educating them about products without pushing for a sale, which has paid off since word-of-mouth advertising has been key to attracting new customers. Place The stores are generally about 15,000 square feet and much smaller than the average supermarket1. They are generally located in areas where there is an educated, professional, middle class public1. What makes it effective?
Trader Joe’s products tend to appeal most to people who prefer gourmet and exotic foods, are socially conscious and/or health conscious. The locations of the stores are near the residential neighborhoods of their target customers: areas where people tend to be more travelled and more educated, and therefore more likely to try the unique products sold at Trader Joe’s. Especially because the products sold are rather unique and different, low prices make it easier for people to try something new ??? it’s not a big loss if you didn’t like it.
The store itself is small, it doesn’t take long to walk through it and see the all the products on the shelves, which works in its favor because 1) it doesn’t feel taxing to see everything even while on a busy schedule and 2) seeing its selection nudges you to attempt to try something new partly to avoid having to make a stop somewhere else. The biggest reason why Trader Joe’s wins is its focus on the experience it gives its customers. With its very low-key advertising, the main motivation why anyone visits Trader Joe’s for the first time is word of mouth ??? other customers told him/her they love it.
Trader Joe’s stores succeed in making the customer feel welcome. There is a focus to connect to the customer, from the moment you walk in until the moment you leave the store. The casual decorations and displays complement the theme of the store and do not make one product stand out over the next but instead adds to the fun and friendly atmosphere of the store. The employees welcome you when you walk in, they will approach you to ask if they can help with anything, and they consistently look like they are happy to help when you ask for it.
The store also offers samples every day at all hours, and employees will open up products for any customer curious about sampling any of their products before taking it home. Even at the check out counters, the sound of the scanners is imperceptible as the cashier unloads your cart and bags your purchase for you. References: 1. Mallinger, M. and G. Rossy. 2007. The Trader Joe’s Experience. Graziadio Business Report, 10(2). http://gbr. pepperdine. edu/072/tj. html 2. Trader Joe’s. http://www. traderjoes. com