We spend a lot of time on Instagram and have done so since #maltagrams were a rarity in feeds. Fast forward five years and #Malta is now the theme of over 4.4 million Instagram posts. The most popular product in those images? It’s not Cisk (Malta’s national beer) nor Kinnie (Malta’s national soft drink). It’s not even Levi’s t-shirts, pink flamingo lilos or Adidas trainers. In fact, it doesn’t even have a brand name—but it has a good lesson to teach.
On the island of Comino, enterprising businesses are selling piña colada pineapples like hotcakes. They appear on Instagram far more often than any other product with absolutely no marketing, no branding and no name behind them. To be sure, this kind of wild and viral product success is certainly the exception to the norm, but why should it have even happened in the first place?
Comino cafe owners have followed the most obvious rule that all too many business owners (and marketers) forget: they made a product for their customers, not for themselves. Comino cafe owners don’t sit around drinking piña colada pineapples every day. They scratched their audience’s itch—not their own—by pinpointing exactly what their customers wanted and providing it exactly how and when they wanted it.
All businesses should be so brave.