Becoming Trader Joe
How I Did Business My Way and Still Beat the Big Guys
Build an iconic shopping experience that your customers love--and a work environment that your employees love being a part of--using this blueprint from Trader Joe’s visionary founder, Joe Coulombe.
Infuse your organization with a distinct personality and culture that draws customers in a way that simply competing on price cannot.
Joe Coulombe founded what would become Trader Joe’s in the late 1960s and helped shape it into the beloved, quirky food chain it is today. Realizing early on that he could not compete and win by playing the same game his bigger competitors were playing, he decided to build a store for educated people of somewhat modest means. He brought in unusual products from around the world and promoted them in the Fearless Flyer, providing customers with background on how they were sourced and their nutritional value. He also gave the stores a tiki theme to reinforce the exotic trader ship concept with employees wearing Hawaiian shirts.
In this way, Joe laid down a blueprint for other business owners to follow to build their own unique shopping experience that customers love, and a work environment that employees love being a part of.
In Becoming Trader Joe, Joe shares the lessons he learned by challenging the status quo and rethinking the way a business operates. He shows people of all types:
- How moving from a pure analytical approach to a more creative, problem-solving approach can drive innovation.
- How finding an affluent niche of passionate customers can be a better strategy than competing on price and volume.
- How questioning all aspects of the way you do business leads to powerful results.
- How to build a business around your values and identity.