Branded Content Analysis: Trader Joe’s

Branded Content Analysis: Trader Joe’s

It seems like I get more junk mail than mail that actually matters more and more frequently these days. Those flyers and ads often end up hitting the recycling bin before I even walk in the house, but one flyer that always makes it inside with me is Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyer. The Fearless Flyer is Trader Joe’s…. “circular” for lack of a better word.

What I See

The Fearless Flyer is available eight times a year. You can grab one in the store, have it mailed to your house, or receive it via email. The circular is so unique that even Trader Joe’s doesn’t know how to categorize the Flyer:

“…Is it a newsletter? A catalog? A comic-book? Yes, yes, and perhaps even yes! The Flyer abounds with product stories that are at times fascinating and amusing. Beyond the intrigue and chuckles, our ultimate goal is to keep you well-informed about our products so that you can easily find what you want next time you stop in to shop…”

That’s precisely why I can’t take my eyes off of it when I pull the Flyer out of my mailbox. Yes, I appreciate the fact that the Flyer is filled with the latest in Trader Joe’s awesome products, but what I really love is the way the information is presented. It’s irreverent, fun, quirky, and entirely engaging. I look forward to seeing the old-timey cartoons and clever phrasing as much as (okay, maybe even more than) I look forward to seeing what products are highlighted.

What I Get

This is why I love the Fearless Flyer. It’s attention-grabbing. It’s informative. It’s so totally Trader Joe’s. This is a piece of marketing genius. It hits all of the essential points in marketing:

  1. It stands out. There aren’t any Trader Joe’s competitors who are doing something similar. The Fearless Flyer never gets mistaken for junk mail.
  2. It’s entertaining. This isn’t your typical grocery store sales flyer. This is a fun read, even if you’re not ready to make a Trader Joe’s run.
  3. It’s true to the Trader Joe’s brand. Trader Joe’s is known for being a different kind of grocery store. Not only do they have excellent prices, they carry unique items, and have a definite feel – personable, approachable, and different.
  4. It connects with customers. The Flyer serves its purpose of drawing in customers either through the great selection of seasonal products, can’t beat pricing, or engaging presentation.
  5. It’s relatable. The Flyer doesn’t look or feel like some kind of slick, corporate advertising campaign – and that’s kind of the point. It’s relatable. It’s funny. It’s witty. It’s real. It makes people want to like Trader Joe’s and, in turn, spend their money there (the most effective non-hard sell style of marketing).

What I Think

I think the Fearless Flyer is absolutely perfect for Trader Joe’s. By now, it’s something that Trader Joe’s regulars have come to expect and even look forward to. We know it will be a fun mix of highlighted products and witty commentary. New customers may take a look at it and think, “What is this place?” But the important thing is – they looked at it! That’s the main goal of a flyer like this – to get customers to take a look, make a connection, and hopefully plan a shopping trip.

That brings me to my final thought: How Well Does Your Branded Content Align With Your Company Personas?

Photo by Janice Marie Foote

Liyya Hassanali

Liyya Hassanali is a seasoned Orlando-based content creator with expertise in SEO and marketing. She writes regularly for Orlando Content Marketing clients and her own clients.