Into the Middle of the World

I would never have known that when I was born in Singapore, Ecuador is directly under my naked bottom on the other side of the world. While there’s no practical reason for that piece of information known as antipodes, it makes for a good opener to this post, right?

World map showing location of Ecuador and Singapore

Now that you are back after having fun searching for other antipodes of countries you know, let’s get back to Ecuador and the connection I have with this country known as the Republic of the Equator (a literal translation from the Spanish name, República del Ecuador).

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My Affair with a Grocer

In 2017, I stepped into a Trader Joe’s for the first time as a friend and I loaded up on some road trip -type food for our 14-day adventure through the country of Mexico.

I was immediately intrigued by how different this grocer is. It goes beyond their highly addictive peanut butter pretzels, colorful hand-drawn signage, and the bell-ringing at the checkout lanes.

Visiting Trader Joe's in Oklahoma City
Before heading south towards Mexico, we decided to take a picture in front of Trader Joe’s, excited about our purchase of bread, canned smoked herring, peanut butter pretzels, trail mix, etc. for the road-trip.

There’s something about their staff Trader Joe’s call Crew Members. Besides wearing Hawaiian shirts or colorful tees with hibiscus motif, these people seem genuinely happy to be working there.

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Let’s Get Emotional

When one thinks about a company or business, all things visible (eg. logo, billboard, print advertisement) and tangible (eg. product, store-front) tend to be the first image that comes to mind. That’s a typical response of a consumer.

Wearing your consumer hat

But as a consumer of goods and services bombarded by countless “buy me” or “use me” messages whenever we are online or out on the road, the appeal of a product and/or service often goes beyond meeting a functional need and is associated with an emotion.

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