Company Case 11
Whole Foods: A Whole-Istic Strategy
1) Define Whole Foods’ “product”. How does it deliver value to customers?
Whole Food targets a selected group of high educated upscale customer (True Friends) and offer them what they want at all time; the best products in the market (“organic, natural, and gourmet food). Whole Foods offers the best to its unique customers. As the case study states, “Whole Foods customer appreciate the fact that the store’s quality commitment reaches far beyond what’s on its shelves. The customers not only go to Whole Food for great food, they go because of conscience, and human rights draw them there.
2) Organics are becoming quite popular. Many chains, including Wal-Mart, have begun offering and expanding their selection of organics. Do you think this poses a competitive threat that should worry Whole Foods?
No, because Whole Food has carefully positioned itself by moving away from the industry giants and rather than pursuing mass-market sales volume and high profit margin it has targeted a selected group of high educated upscale customer (True Friends). Also, Wal-Mart is in business to sell volume not value. Whole Foods can offer its customers value that Wal-Mart can’t.
3) With respect to Whole Foods’ targeting and positioning strategies, what challenges will the company face in the future as it continues to grow and expand?
As question #2 pointed out, Wal-Mart and many chains have begun offering and expanding their selection of organics. The challenges that Whole Foods will be always facing is to continue providing what its selected customer wants and care while reaching out to new customers.
4) In California, Whole Foods is commonly known as “Whole Paycheck.” While the firm has clearly positioned itself away from pricing issues, do you think that it can avoid this element of the marketing mix forever? Why or why not?
There are a couple of issues to consider...