TJ’s…and Me

TJ’s…and Me

I am sure many colleagues, fellow artists, artisans, decorative painters, solopreneurs,  “creativepreneurs” (does that word exist yet in our lexicon?)  and many others, can relate to the feeling that I had not so long ago, after a spec visit to a potential new Client.  We love what we do, interacting with people, the excitement of beginning a new project, the creative collaboration with our Clients, the focus, commitment and connections required.  What we don’t love is that sometimes the continual reaching out into the unknown: people, projects, ideas, materials, challenges (the weather, for heaven’s sake!), can at times be momentarily exhausting, even overwhelming.

The feeling can overtake us at any given moment, after a meeting (hopefully not before, or during), unloading supplies, working through the numbers for a bid, or even working on a blog post (not me.. no, never!)

Suddenly, the professional interaction feels demanding, carrying supplies becomes lugging, the numbers seem either too high, or too low, and perfectionism and procrastination rear their challenging heads.

I felt that way recently, when I found myself trying, as we all do, to pull the various factors of a project together to make it work out well for the Client and myself, to say nothing of the associated painting contractor.  I left the meeting, and since Trader Joe’s was  right on my way home, I decided to stop in and do a little shopping, knowing that I always enjoyed the experience.

Why do I always enjoy the TJ’s experience, especially at my “home” store?

Well, for starters, there is the free coffee and samples, an offering  to the weary traveler (ah- customer) ready for a little TLC.  Whether it is a mother with young children clutching her cart, a couple on a budget preparing for a party, or, like me, a working gal needing a break, the TJ’s temple of artisanal eats is there to serve.

And serve me that day it did.  The instant I dismounted my vehicle, traversed the parking lot, and entered the grocery’s hallowed hall, I felt that blast of energy one gets when stepping  into the stream of animated humanity there for but one reason: to gather forth sustenance for themselves and their families, and to have fun doing it.

The sights, scents, and colors (yes, colors ARE part of sights, but so much more, as my colleagues in HUE will attest to…) of flowers, fruits, cheeses, chocolate, (I recommend the Trader Joe’s truffles, to all who are looking for a little something sweet to bring to a gathering), among seemingly millions of other things, all of which I knew I could love, greeted me upon entering.  I made a beeline to the samples station,  reanimated myself with a tiny cup of perky cafe, and snarfed down a thimbleful of something hot and delicious that was being featured, once again thinking, “What an awesome marketing strategy…this great free stuff makes one want to come here, without one even knowing it…one looks forward to the goodies one knows one is going to get!”

Not only that.  The Trader Joe’s “wait staff” is a part of the total energizing quality of the place, at least at the store we patronize.  Fresh and positive, they make you feel as though you are making their day just by being there.   They are just thrilled to share with you where the soymilk is, how many kinds of Parmesan there are, and whether a favorite item is ever going to show up in the store again, or has been discontinued.  After a few interactions with these folks, I felt the tension drain away, and a new lease on life take its place.  After all, how bad can it be, when one can treat oneself to a frozen vegetarian pizza, or stack of salmon patties so reasonably?

If it all is part of a marketing strategy, it is working. Stimulated by the coffee, and nourished by the tasty sample and friendly chat, I was ready to shop, and of course ended up buying more than I had originally intended, which was pretty much nothing.

There are so many business and life lessons embedded in this experience.  First of all, the resonance of a positive experience had already been established by many visits to TJ’s in the past, which drew me to go there expecting to have one again.  I had sense memories of sights, sounds and  tastes that had been enjoyed there.  I knew the whole philosophy of the place is good value in a fun atmosphere.  I knew I’d be fed, both literally and figuratively, in the process of food shopping.

TJ’s gives us a break from our normal routine of constant commerce by offering us up that little treat to keep us going: that sip of coffee, swallow of juice,  bite of something delicious, a smile or a  joke without, ostensibly, asking for anything back.  But what they do get back is something so much more: customer loyalty, continued patronage, and increased sales, just because people have so much fun being there, perhaps walking out feeling better then when they walked in.  Of course, the goods are delivered: healthy, artisan goods of  quality, delivered  at a reasonable price.  Everyone knows what they will get when they go there, and they keep coming back.

This is what we all want from our businesses,  from our lives…a continued commitment in quality relationships, goods and services, something we can afford, and gives us pleasure and satisfaction, something we can, in this precarious world, depend on.  Something that doesn’t disappoint, but keeps us coming back for more.  Maybe keeps us hungry for more.

TJ’s, thank you for being there!  I will continue to learn by your example, and enjoy your offerings.  Now…where’s that vegetarian pizza?

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10 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. so true of TJs…their innovation is to be admired bby all…they are the king of creativepreneurship for sure…

    • Love it! Nothing like a treat, however small, to warm the body and soul, and give us that moment of bliss that helps us to keep on keeping on!
      Peace and blessings…merci pour les mots!

  2. Excellent! Lots to think about, even if you did not “plan” for that. Thanks for another great post, Debra.

    • Thank you for commenting Barbara…I enjoy and learn from your posts as well.
      Food for the body, heart and mind…as well as the soul!
      Happy December…

  3. Very good analogy! This is a marketing strategy we can all adapt. Thanks for the post.

    • Wonderful to hear from you Theresa. Thank you for commenting. Yes our lessons, and examples, in business, art and life…can come from all kinds of sources! Best Wishes…

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Debra Disman, Debra Disman. Debra Disman said: shares a new post from "Artissima – blog of ArtiFactory Studio". http://lnkd.in/ix36du […]

  5. So true Debra. I know I usually end up buying more than intended and feeling good about it too. I’m grateful my local store is just a couple blocks away!

    • Hey there, my TJ’s sistah! Your local store is my local store! Ain’t we got fun! Hope to see you in the aisles, and, thanks for commenting!
      Here’s to nourishment of all sorts!


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