Current events and the product mix

10Aug09

A few weeks ago, Trader Joe’s started selling their own brand of hand sanitizer. I asked the people at the customer service desk about it, and they said a lot of customers had requested hand sanitizer, and that it was selling well so far. In fact, I was one of the people who asked for it, but I doubted they’d take action so quickly. Anyways, I bought a bottle and it seems just as good as the other brands out there.

However, I don’t think customer requests alone are what made Trader Joe’s introduce the new product when they did. Rather, I believe that current events — namely, the Swine Flu hysteria — created a sense of urgency about proper hygiene. Countless articles suddenly started mentioning hand sanitizer as a good way to stay healthy, and I bet these caught the attention of the people in Trader Joe’s corporate. Coupled with customer requests, current events helped convince them to get the new product to market.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with tailoring your product mix to what’s on people’s minds. In fact, it’s a very logical strategy. I wonder how many other products end up languishing in the “maybe” pile for years, waiting for some external event to generate enough interest to get them over the hump.



No Responses Yet to “Current events and the product mix”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s