Like its products, Trader Joe’s actively cultivates customers of a certain type — and those customers actually can help Trader Joe’s expand.
“Although its customer base is not considered upscale by any means,” writes Lewis, “Trader Joe’s consumers have relatively high household incomes and propensity for social activism. Furthermore, their ardor for the company is such that they are not above lobbying local politicians, real estate developers and the company itself to get a store in their local neighborhoods.”
In 2010, one Washington-based store captain told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, “Our favorite customers are out-of-work college professors. Well read, well-travelled, appreciates a good value.”
That’s some good, calculated branding.