Trader Joe’s

In this article, the author outlines how Trader Joe’s has developed its cult-like following.

1) Trader Joe’s knows its customers.

  • He is “overeducated and underpaid.”
  • If money were no object, he would choose a Mac over a PC.
  • He likes Tina Fey.
  • He has been to Europe, and probably was on some kind of academic fellowship.
  • He would have voted for Obama over McCain, and he probably has a few kids. &c.

2) They make decisions based on what they know.

  • The store layout
  • The products
  • The “uniforms”

You have to read the article to find out how about the rest

3) They come up with innovative ways to work around problems for ideal consumers. (HINT: The don’t like corporate America)

4) They create a tangible culture around their product. (Example)

5) Their customers are their best “evangelists” (That’s where the video above comes from)


Fortune magazine has a fascinating article about Trader Joe’s on its website.  Did you know they are privately owned by a German company that operates one of the largest supermarket chains in the world?  I didn’t.  Its a great read even if you don’t shop there.  Who knows maybe you’ll start buying organic brown rice spaghetti topped with salt free, fat free vegan organic marinara sauce followed up with frozen soy chocolate sandwiches after you read it.

For extra credit you can comment on how authentic you think Trader Joe’s is.  However, you must read this post first.