In an age where most businesses have a social media presence extending across innumerable channels, Trader Joe’s is a social media enigma. The brand has neither a Facebook nor a Twitter account. Instead, Trader Joe’s maintains profiles on Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. The company wasn’t even on Instagram until 2017.
An old-fashioned approach to marketing
Their tried-and-true marketing stalwart is their distinctive “Fearless Flyer” – a printed circular of new and seasonal products. With witty copy and whimsical illustrations, the “Fearless Flyer” is unlike any other grocery store flyer you’ll ever see. Trader Joe’s site describes:
The Fearless Flyer doesn’t fit neatly into just one category—as with most other good things. Is it a newsletter? A catalog? A comic-book? Yes, yes, and perhaps even yes! The Flyer abounds with product stories that are at times fascinating and amusing. Beyond the intrigue and chuckles, our ultimate goal is to keep you well-informed about our products so that you can easily find what you want next time you stop in to shop. The Fearless Flyer is available (always free and worth every penny) at intervals throughout the year.
Due to the chain’s popularity, however, there is little need for them to toot their own horn. Across all social channels, there are numerous fan accounts for Trader Joe’s, many boasting hundreds of thousands of followers. What is it about Trader Joe’s that inspires such enthusiasm? Their low prices and unique brand might have something to do with it.
Trader Joe’s buys products direct from suppliers and doesn’t charge suppliers fees for putting goods on the shelves. Instead of having sales, the chain tries to offer consistently low prices. Additionally, most stores stock over 50,000 products at a given time, while Trader Joe’s offers around 4,000 – saving money on storage space and passing it along to the consumer.
Visually appealing products
While many store’s in-house brands are plagued by poor design and inferior branding, Trader Joe’s products boast quality label designs and unique flavor combinations. Where else can you get cat cookies, coconut cashews, or vanilla almond granola? Plus, the store’s nautical theme – complete with bell ringing instead of an obnoxious P.A. system – gives an air of whimsy that isn’t found elsewhere.
Ultimately, Trader Joe’s is proof that as a business, you can provide both value and quality to your customers – a combination that unfortunately is getting harder to find. Additionally, the brand demonstrates that traditional marketing and word-of-mouth can still be effective in the digital age.