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Revolutionary old idea

 

 
 

We coach companies. We'll help you turn CX into brand value

Build your brand the Trader Joe's Way

  • We help our clients 'Hire for attitude, and train for aptitude'
  • We prove that the softest skill of all – empathy – is the key to almost all extraordinary customer experiences
  • We inspire managers and conduct workshops for front-line customer service staff
  • Our clients save money on advertising and build enduring brands with real value


services

  • Public speaking 
  • Management training
  • Customer service workshops
  • Customer experience critiques and evaluations

Almost every great brand, and almost every enduring successful company, makes its customers believe that shares their best interests. Our Revolutionary Old Idea is actually quite simple: We make your customers believe you really care about them. How do we do that? We make you really care.

You've heard of us.

Revolutionary Old Idea has presented at meetings of major companies like Carrefour and Unilever, and at industry gatherings like the 3% Conference. Build a Brand Like Trader Joe's was written up in the New York Times, and featured on Chicago's WBEZ. Next up: We recently recorded an interview that will become part of a Freakonomics podcast this winter.

Zendesk Podcast: Beyond Cookie Butter

 Your brand may have fans, but do they compose songs about your company?

Your brand may have fans, but do they compose songs about your company?

Host Mio Adelman interviews Mark as they take a deep dive into Trader Joe's extraordinary culture of customer service in this terrific podcast. The first episode in a series called 'Repeat Customer' from the CX pros at Zendesk.

Communication Arts: It’s Time for the Ad Industry to Grow Up

 Nicole Marquis spoke to Mark about the ad industry’s wasteful ageism

Nicole Marquis spoke to Mark about the ad industry’s wasteful ageism

Our other obsession, besides CX, is the slavish devotion to the ad industry’s youth cult.

What Brands Are Actually Behind Trader Joe’s Snacks?

 Most people think that Trader Joe's unique brand is mainly based on the store's unique products. That could be true but... they're made by the same companies that make other major brands.

Most people think that Trader Joe's unique brand is mainly based on the store's unique products. That could be true but... they're made by the same companies that make other major brands.

Eater's Vince Dixon used some diabolically clever techniques to pierce Trader Joe's famous veil of secrecy. (We helped.) 

After 20 years earning six figures in advertising and marketing, I took a $12 per hour job at Trader Joe's to learn how one of America's most secretive companies built one of America's strongest brands, virtually without advertising. 

It turns out that Trader Joe’s did it by using the oldest trick in the marketing book – by recruiting front-line customer service staff who are naturally inclined to deliver excellent customer service, and then empowering those people to deliver exceptional CX. It's a Revolutionary Old Idea, and it will work for you. This company’s dedicated to helping other companies – yours, for example – how to do it. We’d love to talk to you about it, but honestly the best place to start is by reading this book. 

 Yes, there’s a manual.

Yes, there’s a manual.

“As a Trader Joe's devotee and former national brand director for a major nonprofit, I thought Gardiner nailed it…TJ may not be doing everything just right, but the branding works and Gardiner explains why. This is a must-read for anyone mildly fascinated with Trader Joe's or searching for a once-and-for-all book on real-world branding.” – Tara M, Amazon

“A guy whose background is advertising examines how an 8 billion dollar company succeeds without an ad agency. In typical Gardiner style he explains the things they do wrong as a business and how it works for them.I would really recommend it to people with sales/marketing backgrounds or interest.
To me it says that instead of being "corporate" TJ understands the old sales adage that "people buy from people." Don, Amazon