What if I told you that there is a brand that has managed to stay relevant and increase its value throughout 500 years of history?
Would you like to know more?
And what if I told you that the person who founded this company is, well, technically not human?
It suddenly gets weird, doesn’t it?
If there is a story all entrepreneurs should be studying about in marketing books is the one about Mr Avocado. Steve Jobs, who? This is THE story of the self-made man fruit.Yes, the avocado is technically a fruit, a berry (to be more specific), and not a vegetable like most people think. More on that later.
And as it turns out, this fruit has got a lot to teach about marketing. After all, you don’t stay relevant for over five centuries without learning a thing or two.
Here are eight lessons brands can learn from avocados:
1 – You don’t become everyone’s favourite without versatility
There are around 500 kinds of avocados around the world! Some of them are small, some don’t have seeds, and then there are others that are just plain weird. But not only was the avocado able to successfully reproduce itself and spawn little different kinds of avocado juniors all over the world, you also can create virtually almost any recipe with them. Here’s just a small sample:
- Guacamole (duh!)
- Chocolate Pudding*
- Sushi rolls
- Pasta Sauce
- Ice cream
- And pretty much anything else you can imagine!
*Interesting fact: Spanish speaking countries use avocados in savoury dishes while Portuguese speaking countries use them for desserts.
2 – Embrace all of your potential customers
Mr Avocado is here to teach you that you can appeal to widely different audiences, as long as you have a good product. Former pop star turned fashion designer Victoria Beckham has an avocado with toast for lunch because of its dietary properties (it is filling and has the good kind of fat), while at the same time, regular American Football fans make demand for the fruit soar through the roof every year during Super Bowl season because — guacamole.
If your regular sports fan and one of the skinniest people on earth can both love and appreciate the same product is because the brand has done something right.
3 – Offer the good kind of fat
Fat is delicious. I mean, who doesn’t love a good plate of fried food? It makes people’s mouths water, but after eating too much, you end up feeling sick — and nobody wants to go back to a restaurant that makes you feel sick. This is the bad kind of fat.
Avocados contain high levels of Omega 3 fatty acid which is the “good” kind of fat. This is one of the reasons as to why they’re often recommended for diets. It tastes good and fills you without having to eat too much.
Same thing happens with content. Tactics like “click-baiting headlines” and “rehashed content” (bad fat) may attract views at first, but it doesn’t retain readers because they hardly ever deliver what they promise. Invest in good, evergreen content (good fat) that will improve over time. It may not attract visitors as quickly, perhaps, but eventually, people will appreciate your quality and start trusting your brand.
4 – Make it better than other fruits
Mr Avocado was very smart when he decided to apply the marketing strategy of a vegetable instead of a fruit to its brand. As I mentioned earlier, it is indeed a fruit! This is a path that may raise a couple of eyebrows, but most don’t become successful by keeping a low profile. Avocado is not only used differently from other fruits, it also has different properties. It’s got more proteins than most and it even offers higher levels of potassium than bananas.
And what can we learn from this? Offer something different than your competition. Make a study of the other names in your industry and make sure you offer something else.
And by that we don’t mean to come up with an insane idea, sometimes all it takes is doing something better than the one before. For example, you may offer the same products as the competitors, but your customer service excels.
5 – Offer content that’s good for the soul
Avocados can help lower the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reducing the chances of a heart attack.
Unless yours is a medical brand that produces medicine for heart conditions, to offer something that literally improves the health of a person’s main organ might be a bit difficult. But you can offer content that’s good for the soul. We all know those: the heart-warming stories, the nice messages we like to read after a rough day at the office. Studies show that people respond and engage with brands that awake emotions through storytelling.
6 – Pick a name with a backstory
Knowing that people enjoy a good story behind a name, Mr Avocado went out to pick a special one for himself — although his is more salacious than most. You see, avocado comes from the Spanish aguacate, an adaptation from the fruit’s Aztec name āhuacatl, which was also a word for — testicle.
While I may suggest picking a less aphrodisiac term for your brand, I think we can all agree that it is an interesting story to recount during dinner parties. The name of a brand goes beyond an anecdote, it is a concept that your business is going to be related with and will make an impact (positive or negative) on your customers’ consciousness. In short, not to be taken lightly.
7 – I say aguacate, you say avocado
The real reason as to why āhuacatl became aguacate is because when they first got to America, the Spaniards couldn’t pronounce the Aztec name so they changed it. And then later, when English speakers were introduced to the fruit, it was anglicised to avocado. To further complicate things, aguacate is not the only name for the fruit used in Hispanic territories, in some parts of South America people also refer to it as palta.
In short, Mr Avocado has got a bit of an identity crisis.
You see, in this magnificent marketing plan that expands over centuries, there was one single mistake: the name. It was simply too difficult to pronounce, hence every territory having a different way to call the same product.
In today’s globalised world, it is probably not the best idea to change your name for each market. If you want a strong presence, you’ll want a unique name that is easy to pronounce and remember in most languages.
8 – There’s no better publicity than good publicity
Now, while doing research for this piece, I found virtually nothing negative about avocados. Sure, if you eat way too many you’ll gain weight (as with anything else) and apparently, there are some people who are allergic to it — although it is very rare. Other than that there is nothing, nothing bad about this miraculous fruit. It is almost suspicious, which has led me to believe that Mr Avocado may have paid some media outlets to say nice things about him.
Now, we’re not suggesting bribing some to say good things about your brand, but a press note every once in a while wouldn’t hurt. And neither does asking your customers for reviews. After all, if you’re offering a good service they shouldn’t mind talking about it. In today’s ask-social-media-before-you-buy world, reviews are a good way to build trust and influence future customers.
9 – Be a super brand!
Because of all the magical properties it has, avocados are considered superfoods! So why not offer so many wonderful things that people will think of you as a superbrand?
Think about it.
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