Where I live, there are two grocery stores in town that are intently focused on a higher-end clientele: Whole Foods, the national chain recently acquired by Amazon, and Dorothy Lane Market (DLM), a locally owned and operated grocery that’s now celebrating its 70th year.
I find these two businesses particularly interesting—and revealing—because my own landscaping company is focused on a similar clientele, in the same market. But even if that’s not who your ideal client is, I think there’s a lot you can learn from them.
Both of these stores are filled with lavish displays of fresh produce, organic meats and seafood, and prepared foods they know will appeal to their targeted customer. Yet you can drive by the rival stores’ parking lots any day of the week, and at any time—morning, noon, or night—and you’ll see DLM’s packed and Whole Foods’ filled with empty spaces. Why? What does DLM know that Whole Foods doesn’t?
1. It starts, and ends, with a strong product. Whole Foods markets quality, but DLM actually—and reliably—delivers it. Their produce is fresher, their meat and seafood is better, and their prepared foods are made in house and by hand. If you can’t stand 100 percent behind what your company is producing for your clients, you will inevitably lose to the competition.