A simple lesson from The Frog Store


In our house, we don’t call Trader Joe’s by it’s traditional name.  In our house, it’s called The Frog Store.

If you have young kids and frequent Trader Joe’s, you probably know what I’m talking about already.  This West Coast-based grocery chain has become a favorite for good produce, unique and interesting products, surprisingly good prices, and great service.

It’s also become known, especially among kids, for hiding a stuffed frog somewhere in each store.  The location of the frog changes daily.  If you find the frog, you get a lollypop.

We have numerous choices around our house for groceries.  At least three stores are closer than the local Trader Joe’s.  But whenever we talk about going to the market, our four-year-old insists that we go to The Frog Store.

It’s great that Trader Joe’s already has many products we already like and/or prefer.  But with all other things being generally equal, going somewhere that your kids prioritize (and therefore potentially avoiding a mini-meltdown) wins the day.

Getting us, and likely many other families, to shop at Trader Joe’s isn’t therefore all about the products or prices or location.

It’s also about stuffed frogs.

No matter your business, there are some good lessons and questions worth pondering here:

  • Who are you selling to, and who are they selling to?  Who influences their decisions and preferences?
  • Are you intentional about thinking through product, service and experience from your company, your people, your brand?
  • Do you know or understand what little things might be influencing preference and purchase decisions, no matter how superficial?
  • What’s something that requires little to no budget that can make a big different – to your employees, your customers, your prospects?