One of the cardinal rules of marketing is knowing your audience. Without the right amount of research and due diligence, brands can have difficulty finding their core fans for repeat business.
Whole Foods has never had that problem.
The Austin-based organic grocer understands its true demographic. If you’re crunchy and you know it, clap your hands. And while Whole Foods stays focused on people who can afford to pay $11 for a six-pack of PBR, they also know that the possibilities would be endless if they brought down the price point on a few items.
Enter into the express lane Whole Foods 365.
In an earnings conference call last year, Whole Foods co-CEO John Mackey described the 365 concept as a “streamlined, hip, cool technology oriented store, unlike any store anybody has ever seen before.”
Seen being the operative word because Mackey knows new shoppers witness an entirely different subculture inside his stores. Suffice to say, the people-watching is almost as good as the homemade hummus (and that mess is addictive).
Hipsters, adorned with their carefully cropped facial hair and skinny jeans, flock to the aisles, picking up grass-fed meat, Mason-jar drinks, IPA brews, and whatever else they can make with Kale. They also love showing off their tattoos.
And that’s why Whole Foods 365 is considering having tattoo parlors in the stores.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Whole Foods Market Inc. co-CEO Walter Robb said that the grocer has advertised that it’s looking to find suppliers and vendors to set up shop in its 365 stores through a program called “Friends of 365.”
“We like to mix things up,” the company writes on the website. “Record shop? Tattoo parlor? Maybe!”
“There’s a number of smaller-store competitors out there that are doing a nice job,” [Robb] said. “We don’t see any reason why we can’t go participate in that part of the market as well with our 365 by Whole Foods offer — it’s going to be unique.”
If you don’t fancy Whole Foods, you may not be familiar with the executive edict (née encouragement) that all employees should “show off their creative sides” … and “have visible tattoos.”
While this may seem like a crazy decision, it all goes back to knowing your audience. Whole Foods definitely knows them.