Trader Joe, Gardner, JOE discussed on Freakonomics

Freakonomics
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Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Discover trader Joe's totally by accident. That's Mark gardener. Again, the former advertising executive who end up working at traderjoes. He was living in California at the time. I thought it was a local store had a kind of a surf fem-, and I didn't know any better because they don't do any advertising. I only was exposed to it have to be my neighborhood, then Gardner moved to Kansas City. Yes. And that's when I really learned about trader Joe's company because there was no trader Joe's. But there were these rumors of it. We're going to get a trader Joe's, and there was so much excitement. There's a Facebook page called bring trader Joe's to Kansas City that has five thousand friends as a former advertising guy Gardner was impressed. I think the number one thing that struck me about trader Joe's is that. They almost don't advertise at all. They don't market they they. They have a pretty good website now, but but for years at a rudimentary website, they had almost no social media presence to they had almost no public relations. So they didn't do a whole bunch of things that I had spent my entire working life thinking. Well, these are the things that you do when you build a brand. So that was really striking to me. And I just had this thought like, you know, what if I went and worked there? What would I learn about this company Gardner learned enough about the company by working there that he wrote a book about it called build a brand like trader Joe's? How did trader Joe's respond? Well, as you know, they're very very secretive company. So they responded exactly the way I expected which was with utter silence. What initially impressed Gardner was how trader Joe's at grown so much. Outspending all the money that most firms spend on marketing advertising, and so on but what impressed him once he got inside working as a crew member for twelve dollars an hour was the company's culture. Well, before the new Kansas City store had opened on the first or second day of training. A trader Joe's executive came in to meet with the roughly fifty new hires including Gardner, the proceedings began with that standard horrifying requests to say your name and tell a story about yourself. And I am not kidding. You fifty hands went up. It was all these people picked me I want to be the first I wanna start. I want to tell you my story. And I looked around at that that group of hands going up and mine was up to you know, because I'm because I love talking about myself. But but most people don't at least not to group of strangers NFL. Wow. This is not an ordinary group of people. And what I realized pretty quickly is only God visits. What they hire for the higher for this kind of extroverted naturally chatty person. As the training progressed. These guys really weren't too worried about teaching me how to operate a grocery store. Right. I mean, there was some discussion about keeping the Colt things cold. And how important that is? And and there was a little bit of discussion about this is how a cash register works about. You know, when you're bagging groceries. This is how you do it. There was some discussion of process, but actually there was a lot of discussion of trader Joe's values. There was a tremendous amount of discussion about how are you going to be with the customers? And then once the store opened no matter how crazy the store was no matter how much pressure. There was to do something else. If you were doing something for a customer that trumped everything. Seeing how trader Joe's encouraged its employees to interact with customers to partner up with them. Didn't just make sense to Gardner. It inspired him to wonder why this theoretically obvious approach is in fact, quite rare consider he says a standard trip to the department of motor vehicles. But what happens when you go to the DMV? Well, what happens is you stand on one side of a counter, then there's your opponent on the other side of the counter. And it's as if you're in sort of a game or a sport where your trying to get your license plate or driver's license. And they're going to say, oh, yeah. You don't have an up-to-date inspection certificate for your cars. So get out of here. Right. It's like a volleyball game practically, and it's and it's you against them..

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