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Web Branding And The Cashew Apple

Nov 29, 2007
South America and India are prime growing locations for the cashew apple. Don't tell me you've never heard of the cashew apple? Perhaps that's understandable because in colder climates we never get to taste the succulent fruit, but we are accustomed to the center 'meat' that is processed and delivered to our stores in the form of cashews.

In India they make candied cashew apples and remove the fibrous center and throw it away (the center nut is what most of the world enjoys). In Brazil, locals make a dish of preserved cashew apples in sweet syrup.

The cashew apple is a delicate fruit that is filled with juice that nationals enjoy and even use for its medicinal qualities. The juice can be processed for a juice drink or fermented for an alcoholic beverage.

The cashew apples are too delicate to survive the trip to northern grocers, so the cashew nut in the center of the apple is often the desired portion of the cashew apple for those in the northern hemisphere. Interestingly nationals do not generally have an interest in the actual cashew - getting at it is too much work.

You see, the nut at the center of the cashew apple is wrapped in a caustic and fibrous substance that requires special processing to extract - it not exactly easy to get to. Sometimes these centers will simply be removed from the fruit and used in livestock feed.

Web branding can be a bit like the cashew apple. Each business has a delightful persona they can present to customers. In our analogy this would be the juicy fruit that is tasty yet quickly perishable.

I say 'quickly perishable' because this persona simply provides a first impression that may be an incorrect assessment of the company.

The cashew nut at the center of the apple may be the prize, but too often we leave it encased in a caustic fibrous tissue that makes it hard for customers to get to.

The cashew is the core of a business. The cashew defines a business in ways general impressions cannot. The cashew is satisfying and desired, but hard to attain when simply presented with the whole apple.

If we are to continue the proverbial link between cashew apples and web branding one step further we notice that when we do the hard work of separating the cashew and giving our customers easy access we learn that they are more inclined to have a greater understanding of our business, our goals, what we stand for and who we are.

If our businesses are like a cashew apple then we should use all parts of the apple, but we should also make sure the customer can easily reach the center. In order to do that, we need to know how to get there ourselves.

This, in a nutshell (pardon the pun), is what web branding seeks to accomplish - cutting through everything else so that we allow our customers to honestly see who we are, what we do and why we do it.
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