How Trader Joe’s Creates Meaningful Brand Touchpoints
- Trader Joe’s, a popular grocery store chain, has earned tremendous loyalty and a cult-like following. Â A trip to Trader Joe’s may lead the consumer to encounter a tricky parking situation, crowded aisles, and long checkout lines. Â There are no sales, coupons, or loyalty cards. Yet Trader Joeâ€™s leads in customer satisfaction and employee engagement. Why has the company earned such a devoted following? Â Trader Joe’s doesn’t aim to automate or streamline the shopping process–the goal is to make shopping fun.
- The store provides a sensory-filled in-store experience. Walking into the store gives the consumer the feeling of stepping off a cruise ship into a vibrant island paradise. Â Store leaders wear Hawaiian print shirts. Â The store has hand-written signs and zany product names. Â Samples are often given out (pre-COVID times). Â Kids get free stickers and have fun searching for the hidden stuffed animal. Â
- The experience provides a sense of being on a treasure hunt through limited run, experimental products. Â Fans of the store love the affordable prices as well, and TJ’s “two-buck-chuck” wine is a customer favorite. Â There are many private-label brands (which means these can’t be purchased at other grocery stores), which adds to loyalty. Â
- Trader Joe’s is known for its engaged employees. Â The employees seem to love working there and display high levels of enthusiasm. Â Instead of just asking customers how they’re doing, the cashiers often ask or comment on things unique to the customer. Â It’s not unusual for an employee to start juggling oranges or performing some similar lighthearted activity. Â
- While Trader Joe’s doesn’t offer online commerce, its website does offer some novel touchpoints. Â For example, there’s a monthly podcast–each episode can be found on the website. Â Other resources on the website include recipes, articles on entertaining, stories on featured products, and guides on everything from creating tulip arrangements to building a better skincare routine. Â
- Describe how the brand touchpoints at Trader Joe’s provide emotional, self-expressive, and social benefits. Â Be specific, and be sure to not combine these 3 benefits into 1—discuss each in turn. Â
- What recommendations would you make on how to improve brand touchpoints? Â Please be specific here and include your original thoughts.