Trader Joe's Extreme Brand Architecture ~ Brand Mix

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trader Joe's Extreme Brand Architecture

Photo: √oхέƒx™ (Flickr)

A post on Freakonomics reminded me that Trader Joe's goes to quite some lengths to disguise its ownership. For example, in its FAQs, its response to Question 8. Is Trader Joe's publicly traded? is the rather unhelpful "No. Trader Joe's is a privately held company." According to the Freakonomics post, employees are also in the dark.

So who does own the chain? It's Aldi, the discount grocery chain from Germany, whose spartan stores make other discount food stores look like opulent palaces. Although some aspects of Trader Joe's are quite in keeping with the Aldi ethos (the commitment to low prices and Private Label/brands that no-one has ever heard of), clearly the company has decided that its reputation as a stylish, fun, eclectic, neighborhood market would not be enhanced by association with its parent.

There are many examples of companies that choose not to leverage their corporate brand and endorse their products or separate business operations. But perhaps none are more aggressively dissociated as Aldi is from Trader Joe's. It will be interesting to see, now that Aldi is planning a major expansion of its own stores in the U.S., whether this strategy will continue to be workable.

No comments:

Blog Directory - Blogged