A friend and I were planning to prepare dinner together and had to pick up some food items.  We had already purchased specialty products and still needed the main ingredients.  We were close to a large grocery chain retailer, but decided that we would drive two miles down the road to shop at another regionally based grocery store because we liked the atmosphere better.  That lead us into a discussion about local grocery stores and why we like some over others.

I am a rather brand and quality conscious consumer whereas my friend is a much more practical shopper.  We both agree however that we prefer to shop in comfortable environments.  The way we feel inside a store is a significant determining factor on where we buy our food or anything for that matter.  We both do most of our grocery shopping for staples at Aldi, a global discount supermarket.  Aldi offers a nice selection of quality products at a lower price, and their setup allows for quick and efficient shopping which is appealing to both of us.

The Fresh Market is one of his favorite places to shop because he enjoys the ambiance – a very warm, relaxed, and upscale environment.  I, on the other hand, love shopping at Earth Fare and Whole Foods which have more fresh, lively settings.  These grocers offer many of the same products at competitive prices, but they each offer unique shopping experiences.

We also shop our local farmers market and small businesses like Olive Oil Divine and Hamilton Meats that offer more exclusive food items.  Their products are not only superior to most available like products, but shopping in these places provides distinct customer experiences.

I spent six years working as a marketing and community relations manager for one of my favorite grocery stores, so I have a fair understanding of how grocery retailers operate.  One helpful fact I learned is that most private label products are often owned by corporations that manufacture national brands.  I have always gravitated towards products with the most attractive labels and have made efforts over the years to really consider the quality of the product behind the label rather than just the appearance of the label.  Often times, nicer retailers have more appealing private labels, so I will seek out their branded products.

Ultimately, when deciding which food stores to shop at, my friend and I concluded that we’d rather spend more money or feel better about spending our money in places where we’re comfortable and are able to enjoy our shopping experience as well as find quality products at an affordable price.

As a consumer, what factors determine where you shop? As a business owner or organization director, have you considered the psychology behind what establishes loyalty to your brand?  How do environmental elements affect you while shopping?  Do you seek a positive shopping experience or do you shop for convenience?  Considering these things while developing your company branding or creating marketing and advertising campaigns, may help bring in your ideal customer.  Understand what’s important to those that comprise your target market and play into their preferences.  Do you think you could use some help with this? The High Road Agency is here to help!