Buc-ee's Brave Market Targeting Strategy
When it comes to growth and market segmentation, what Buc-ee’s did was brilliant. They solved a specific consumer problem and fulfilled the unmet need, a lá Shark Tank. From the beginning, Buc-ee’s defined who their target customer was, and who it was not. Buc-ee’s knows exactly who they are. They don’t try to be all things to all people, but rather, delight the customer they choose. The consequence? Buc-ee’s creates brand advocates who willingly pay for, and affix, Buc-ee’s bumper stickers to their vehicles.
The Buc-ee’s customer is the travel weary consumer who needs gas, a restroom and coffee. Buc-ee’s turns an otherwise unremarkable pit stop into an event. Restrooms are clean, large and have “air traffic control” to get you in and out. They have over 120 gas pumps. And on your way out, you’ll grab some candied nuts, BBQ, salad, or homemade fudge. Need greeting cards, gifts, fishing gear? Check. How about a Buc-ee’s branded throw blanket or Beaver Nuggets? A picture with Buc-ee? (A friend told me you can do that.)
What you won’t find is an 18 wheeler, other than a supplier. Why? Arch “Beaver” Aplin says he didn’t want big rigs “gumming up the parking lot.” This was a controversial decision that wouldn’t come without consequence. However, Aplin stuck to h
is guns. He knows who he’s targeting, and executes brilliantly on his chosen customers’ experience. In my case, the sea salt caramel fudge is making a compelling case for a bumper sticker.