What LaCroix Taught Me About Predictability and Patience in Business | Katie Proctor

On my last trip to Trader Joe’s, I was searching for the cold brew coffee concentrate when I overheard a woman ask one of the employees if the store carried LaCroix.

She replied, “No, but we do have sparkling water in different flavors.”

To which the customer responded, “Oh no, I only like LaCroix.”

And there, my friends, lies the case study. While LaCroix may have some unique flavors {and hey, I’m a fan}, at the end of the day it’s just one brand of flavored sparkling water.

It’s been around at least since I was in elementary school because I remember a few girls bringing it in their school lunches. But to many people it just came out of nowhere. Now, you can’t go to the grocery store without seeing colorful stacks of all the different flavors in the center of the aisle or end cap {not even buried on the shelf with all the other drinks} or go on Instagram without seeing a photo of the trendy beverage in a nice flat lay.

And most people who purchase it don’t even know how to pronounce it. 

LaCroix is bordering Kleenex territory where one brand represents an entire category: flavored sparkling water. And what that means is you don’t have to be the first to market an idea or service — you just have to do it better.

The most powerful testimonial is word of mouth. But how do you get people talking about you?

By doing great work, over and over again.

I was talking with one of my business coaching clients about how she’s built her services exclusively via word of mouth. This only happens when you provide such a reliably good product that people want to share it with others — exactly like LaCroix. It’s the same every time. It’s predictable and people like predictability in some sense.

Despite knowing LaCroix existed when I was in elementary school, they’ve only risen in popularity over the last year or so. Which means they captured a mediocre share of the market for years but kept going. This says everything about the patience and the perseverance required of business owners. So often we are bombarded with marketing messages or success stories that seem like it happened for others overnight when that’s never the case. We just don’t see all the years of grit and grind that went in to get them where they are today. It takes consistent work over a long period of time, sometimes for very little reward, until you earn that recognition.

Remember that on days when your business feels hard.

When it feels like you are just giving and giving and giving and wondering when {or if} it will all be worth it. Because one day someone may look at you and say: “Where did she come from?” and you can proudly acknowledge everything that it took to get there.