Global Marketing

The Trader Joe’s Hype and Culture Marketing

Culture marketing is a strategy used by companies that allows consumers to peak behind the curtain and to learn about the company's core values and missions through its content, messaging, decor and even product offerings. Most companies have this information simply cited on their website, but the gist is in translating this information into something meaningful and real that will resonate with the consumer. This is relevant for current and potential customers, as well as current and prospective employees and potential investors/stakeholders.

Let's take a look at Trader Joe's:

The Trader Joe's website offers customers and visitors insights to the Trader Joe's story, and also provided a timeline, showing how the company grew and evolved over the years. Trader Joe's used this timeline to share details about a community that flourished over time, and to show the company's commitment to this important pillar. The Trader Joe's experience is unique to other stores, and is due to several carefully thought out elements that turn Trader Joe's customers into fanatics:

You're always met with a friendly cashier who will most likely remember you the next time they see you, and who will engage in meaningful conversation with you. I once left the store with a great podcast suggestion!

Additionally, the handwritten flyers, signs and prices creates a “homey” feeling with a personal touch, which further supports the idea of family and community, versus a printed standardized poster that's shipped out to all locations. That feels rather robotic, doesn't it?

They also reach out to their community via Instagram, and constantly provide updates on new products, as well as share cool recipes and fun kitchen ideas. They even offered free printable coloring books for parents and their kids to unwind and de-stress during COVID-19 times. Although this post had nothing to do with the products they sell, Trader Joe's took the extra step to show customers that they care about the emotional well being of the community.

Most importantly, Trader Joe's culture marketing is also evident in product choices, advertising great quality at great prices, with unique offerings from all over the world, further affirming inclusion.

Paired with their versatile product lines and unique offerings, this culture marketing makes Trader Joe's a go-to for many people and more often than not locks them in as fans and walking advertisements.

Are you a Trader Joe's fan? Let us know why below!

-Maria Khalil

4 replies on “The Trader Joe’s Hype and Culture Marketing”

I definitely enjoy shopping at Trader Joe’s, however I find that it is not as accessible for one-stop shopping as other larger grocery stores. They are always super friendly whenever I do shop, and specific products make me want to continuously shop there. However, for me, the personal touch of Trader Joe’s is not enough to keep my coming back.

Hey, happy Monday! Thanks for reading/commenting. I’m right there with you, I very rarely go to Trader Joe’s. On the other end of the spectrum, I know a few friends who would never shop anywhere else which is interesting to me. Looking forward to seeing if anyone else from the class is a fan and why. – Maria

Great article! Back when I was living in Los Angeles, I would go to Trader Joe’s every weekend. In comparison to other grocery stores in the area, TJ was far cleaner and offered healthier selections. One thing I’ve noticed is they are quick to offer the Trader Joe reusable grocery bags if a customer didn’t bring their own. Being a young professional who likes routine, I normally would cycle through the same food products every other week, so the small selection size was never an issue. I actually tended to spend less at a TJ’s than a competitor (especially Costco). Instead of making grocery shopping a weekly task, TJ made it enjoyable to shop on a Saturday morning with a cup of their brewed coffee.

With the rise of online grocery shopping and meal kit plans, I can see why Trader Joe’s is trying to differentiate themselves based on experiential value. Do you think the future of grocery shopping is online or at a store/market?

Hey Tyler, thanks for sharing. It’s interesting to see how a Trader Jo’s in a different area can offer tremendous value (including experiential/identity value from what you’re saying).
To answer your [great] question, especially with Amazon acquiring Whole Foods, the industry has seen a move towards online grocery shopping, however, as of 2018 data, Statista reports that the majority of U.S. shoppers still prefer traditional brick-and-mortar stores, but this number is expected to change. I think the one thing you truly can’t offer online is the experience of it, so I anticipate consumers will still incorporate a supermarket trip or two throughout the month, even if there is a move towards online grocery shopping. Looking at it with a COVID-19 lens, the current situation might also instill the habit of just ordering groceries online from here on out.

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