Are you paying attention to your customers? A lesson from Wholefoods


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wholefoods bike stand

Companies highly focused on customers are always paying attention to what is going on in their lives.

Here is a great simple example from Wholefoods. After seeing an increasing number of shoppers coming to the store on bikes the local store manager decided to install a bike fix it stand. The stand provides a range of tools and amenities that cyclists can use to tune up or service their bikes while visiting the store.

From a business point of view, Wholefoods are adding value to their cycling shoppers experience. Will this positively influence these customers to choose whole foods over other supermarket options? Time will tell.

The message this action sends however is very powerful, it demonstrates Wholefoods is committed to its customers. It is willing to invest in helping make customer’s lives easier without an obvious return.

How do you show you are paying attention to your customers?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Brown
Chris Brown is the CEO of MarketCulture Strategies, the global leader in assessing the market-centricity of an organization and its degree of focus on customers, competitors and environmental conditions that impact business performance. MCS works closely with the C-Suite and other consulting groups to focus and adjust corporate vision and values around the right set of beliefs, behaviors and processes to engender more dynamic organizations, predictable growth, and customer lifetime value. In short we help leaders profit from increased customer focus.


  1. What a terrific observation, Christopher. Whole Foods spotted a specific customer behavior, and took the opportunity to add more value for customers – and in turn the organization.

    I think this is a terrific example of a company focused on what it solves for customers, not what it sells. Often the former has not much to do with the latter. When Howard Schulz declared Starbucks to be the “third space” he didn’t mention coffee. Similarly, when Whole Foods declared a vision of “a sustainable future means our children and grandchildren will be living in a world that values human creativity, diversity, and individual choice” (taken from the web site, but stated in various forms often) they don’t mention groceries. In this company, spotting bike-riding behavior is a way to operationalize that vision.

    Nice catch, Christopher. And a hat tip to Whole Foods as well.


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