What companies should strive to accomplish

January 3, 2014 by calvin@fourpeasconsulting.com

If you’re reading this and you live in South Florida, you’ve probably read about this in the South Florida Business Journal or one of the local daily newspapers.Trader Joe’s is here. Finally.

There was such excitement at the grand opening in South Miami, cars were being towed. Apparently there wasn’t enough parking so customers parked wherever they could find space.

Question: How often does the grand opening of a grocery store offer so much excitement that it causes traffic jams and forces the city to tow illegally parked cars?

Answer: Rarely.

There were a few mentions prior to the grand opening but no massive integrated marketing campaigns to trumpet the arrival of Trader Joe’s. And yet, South Miami experienced a full on Trader Joe’s blitz.

The fact is Trader Joe’s has an established cult following. There is something special about the products and the experience that makes Trader Joe’s the preferred option grocery shopping. Personally, I drove 35 miles one way to visit the Miami store. (Note: I used to live in the SF Bay Area where there are numerous Trader Joe’s locations so I knew what to expect).

So why does Trader Joe’s have such a strong following?

Perhaps, a better question to ask is: Why do some products have such a strong following that customers go out of their way to purchase them?

Products attain a cult following because the overall experience in interacting with the product is unique, extremely positive and not easily duplicated. Whatever the competitive positioning, a product must greatly exceed expectations compared to similar offerings. When this occurs consistently, customers will go out of their way to seek out the product or service and make a purchase.

When customer satisfaction increases, customers purchase more frequently, corporate revenue increases. Simple math.

In addition, delivering a unique, high quality product allows a company to be less reliant on promotional budgets. Customers seek them out or request that the company make its products, location or distribution channels more easily accessible.

Then, these customers tell others. They’re mavens.

And, that’s really what companies should strive to accomplish. Businesses should aspire to create such awe inspiring products, services or customer experiences that their customers will want family members, friends, business partners or associates to have that same experience.

In part, its why I traded emails with my County Commissioner, located a Trader Joe's executive online, sent an email, and got a commitment that a Trader Joe’s would be opening a bit closer to me.

You see, I like Trader Joe’s but a 70 mile trip is a bit far. I requested that Trader Joe’s make themselves more easily accessible to me and others in my area. Yes, I’m a maven.

What products or services inspire you? Do you tell others? Are you a maven?