More Than a “Juice Store” | an Interview with Nicolas Lecloux from true fruits
Founded in 2006 by three friends, true fruits was the first smoothie company to conquer the German market. Offering several different smoothies, many varieties, juices, and many more products, true fruits continues to grow - successfully: product design and quality have been recognized with several national and international awards. True fruits stands for passion, quality, and most importantly: 100% fruit. Nothing more and nothing less.
We recently had the opportunity to talk to Nicolas Lecloux, co-founder and former CMO of true fruits. He told us about the process of coming up with the humorous slogans that are printed on their smoothie bottles, as well as how creativity is fostered at true fruits. We also take a look at what we can learn from that for Corporate Innovation.
Nicolas is responsible for communication at true fruits. As an enthusiastic classroom clown, as he describes himself, he is responsible for how the funny slogans are put on the smoothie bottles.
But why are there slogans on the bottles at all?
The fillers for this space are great sayings designed to give customers a smile. In a paced world where algorithms determine what we see and when, which is extremely technocratic, there is little room for anything else. The goal of the sayings on the bottles, Nicolas says, is to touch people in a way that no one else does. "That's what makes us special".
But how do you come up with such catchy sayings? How do the ideas emerge?
At true fruits, regardless of whether an idea for the meeting comes from one of the three founders or from an intern, the best idea is always chosen. To generate ideas, everyone contributes by presenting their idea (or preferably several ideas).
"It can be really interesting to look at the process of writing, and how to break through the obstacles that can pop up. We learned that in order to write well, you have to be okay with writing some bad text first. With that in mind, you write some drafts that aren't great, and then suddenly the last sentence of the third paragraph is good. But then you have to be brave enough to cut away everything else and start again from scratch with just that one good sentence. It's a lot like climbing a mountain: the beginning is tough, but if you keep going, you'll reach the top. That's one of the most beautiful realizations we've had in the last few years." - Nicolas Lecloux
Nicolas understands that not everyone works the same way. For him, it is important to give people the level of freedom they need to succeed. He believes that generating ideas and writing these texts on bottles is more of an art than a science. And like any artist, Nicolas knows that the key to perfection is practice.
The slogans printed on the bottles are mainly designed to attract attention. In many cases, these slogans are provocative and offensive. Nicolas does not agree with the philosophy that "there is no such thing as bad PR" because there are very clear boundaries that should not be crossed. However, he does think that the humorous sayings help to make the true fruits brand as unique and successful as it is today.
What can we learn from true fruits for corporate innovation?
- Failure is an opportunity to learn: we shouldn't be afraid to try new things, even if they don't always work out.
- Creativity pays off: you don't achieve uniqueness by following the mainstream (even as a corporate).
- Diversity creates strength: by including a wide range of perspectives, we create a stronger pool of ideas.
- Hierarchy has no place in idea generation: the best ideas should be pursued regardless of who thought of them.
Thank you, Nicolas, for the great interview and all the insights. We wish you nothing but the best in the future and we're excited to hear more cool sayings from you (PS: maybe we'll make it to a smoothie bottle one day as well...)