Avoca-Dos and Don’ts: Why Choosing the Right Name is Always Fruitful

15th September, 2020

Avoca-Dos and Don’ts: Why Choosing the Right Name is Always Fruitful

Millennials can’t get enough of them (apparently).

They’re high in good fats and versatile.

You can smash them on toast, slice in a salad or photograph them relentlessly for your Instagram feed.

What am I talking about?

Alligator pears, of course!

Yes, that’s what avocados used to be called, because of their green scaly skin.

The name change from alligator pear to avocado happened in 1915 when a group of growers wanted to make them seem more appetising and exotic – and it worked.

Wealthy families flocked to buy avocados to impress the neighbours, and today we still see them as a luxury item.

Not bad for a fruit that’s only ever ripe for about 3.5 seconds before it goes off….

The right name is crucial if we want to change our, or other people’s, behaviour towards something.

For example, my brilliant designer Sophie was struggling to commit to her morning walk, even though she knew it was good for her. It never seemed as important as the client work that was waiting for her every morning, so she’d invariably skip it.

So she decided to rebrand her lowly walk as a ‘commute’ – a non-negotiable, critical event. Now she clocks up the steps every morning and starts work with a smile on her face.

I’m a big fan of a rebrand in my life too.

Years ago I renamed mince to my fussy son as ‘tiny pieces of burger’ so he’d gobble up my bolognese.

And I use this strategy all the time in business as well.

For example:

Hate networking? Most people do. Try calling it chatting instead – way more fun and accessible.

Hate selling? How about helping instead… less threatening, isn’t it? We all like to help.

Loathe the idea of marketing or ‘putting yourself out there’? Just think of it as ‘showing people how you can help’.

A big difference, right? So now it’s over to you – what do you avoid doing that you could rename? Maybe your savings pot could be reborn as a ‘Maldives 2022 Holiday Fund’….tidying your house could become ‘cosying’….you get the idea.

University of Cambridge