Trader Joe’s

Several years ago, while we were on vacation, my family and I discovered Trader Joe’s.  If you’re not familiar with them, Trader Joe’s is a limited-selection grocery store that offers items that some folks might consider unusual. 

They sell a lot of organic items, and exotic things that you might not find at your local supermarket.  They advertise very little, relying mostly on word-of-mouth.  They opened a store here in St. Louis about a year ago.  (Now, there are two.)  The closest store to my house is a half hour drive.

Still, we go there, maybe once a month to pick up some things that we like that you can’t get anywhere else.  Seth Godin writes that there are three keys to Trader Joe’s success.

  1. They target a customer who cares about what she buys and is very loyal.
  2. Their customers have big mouths.  They like to talk about what they buy.
  3. Most of what they buy is private label, therefor they make higher profit margins.

Check out their Fearless Flyer for a great example of a direct mail piece that gets results. Their "How We Do Business" page is also very interesting.

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