Building a brand from scratch can be challenging. You’ll need a lot of “out of the box” thinking. But first, you have to offer a valuable product. A product that stands out makes the rest of your branding efforts easier, as you’ll quickly build an army that believes in your brand.

In this episode of Building Brand Advocacy, Paul discusses with Ivonne Kinzer, Vice President of Marketing and Innovation and Head of Marketing for Avocados From Mexico.

They cover:

  • Brand building strategies 
  • The success story of Avocado From Mexico
  • Super Bowl campaigns and brand advocacy
  • Health benefits, versatility, and fun in the consumption of avocados
  • Sustainability and brand ambassadors for Avocados From Mexico
  • Passion for communications and other keys to successful marketing
  • Core values and intentional reflection for great ideas
  • How counterintuitive situations lead to breakthroughs
  • MasterCard CMO's passion, grit, and challenge of traditional marketing

If topics about brand advocacy and strategies for building a brand that works interest you, tune in to this episode of Building Brand Advocacy.

Building Brand Advocacy 020: Ivonne Kisner, VP of Marketing & Innovation at Avocados from Mexico

Paul Archer: Hello, my name is Paul Archer. Welcome back to the Building Brand Advocacy Podcast. I'm really excited today to be joined by Ivonne Kinser, and this is the podcast where we interview some of the greatest brand builders in the world. Ivonne, I'm keen to dig in and learn a little bit about you, but before we dig into where you are now and a little bit of the history, let's just start in the middle of the action. Did you launch the very first digital campaign for American Airlines in South America?

Ivonne Kinser: Yes, in Latin America. Before we get to that, thank you so much for inviting me. Based on the conversation that we had before we officially start recording, that is going to be a very fun conversation. Yes, to your question, I planned and launched the first-ever digital marketing effort of American Airlines across 20 countries in Latin America.

It was something very new in the year of 2000. I volunteer-- I have always been very attracted to the new and experimenting and just exploring new avenues. That was a great opportunity for me to get into what we see now that it is taking over marketing, which is digital marketing but back then was just a small piece of some brands bought in, not all of them, but very few.

Paul: Incredible. Was that incredibly hard? Was there just one vendor, one set? Were they banner ads that you were doing? How did that look in 2000?

Ivonne: It's funny because they're so complex now. The marketing technology and digital ecosystem has so much complexity now. When you look back and it was only 20 years ago, it was only banners and websites. The biggest decision you could make was what website are we going to advertise and how the banner is going to look like pretty much, and building some very basic websites with very limited functionalities, so it was definitely a different world.

It allowed me to learn with the evolution of digital marketing through the past 20 years and see how we went from that to what it is today. That is a very, very complex world.

Paul: That's amazing. What was the top website back in 2000, can you remember? Was it in GEO cities?

Yvonne: Yes, it was mostly portals. It was StarMedia in Latin America, there was Yahoo. I think Yahoo was predominant and in Latin America was StarMedia and then some small portals. Like I say, Hotmail, [chuckles] remember Hotmail? [crosstalk]

Paul: Remember AOL, you've got mail?

Ivonne: Yes.

Paul: Fantastic. That bring me back there, but let's fast forward now. You're part of ensuring that every millennial across the US is very happy, so tell us a little bit about what you do right now.

Ivonne: I work for Avocados From Mexico. It's a brand nobody accident, but it was not supposed to be. It was supposed to be a commodity until in 2013, 2014 our CEO who comes from CPG from tortillas, decided that we had a very, very interesting product, interesting enough to build a brand around it and to add value and to help consumers to make purchase decisions based on that value that we create of that brand.

We started building that brand in 2014. Just to give you some numbers of the progress, in only 8 years, the brand preference has increased from 20% to 60%. We have doubled the imports of Mexican avocados in the US from 1.2 billion pounds to 2. almost 5 billion pounds in only 4 years. It has been definitely a very exciting ride, and I think that I'm fortunate enough to have been from the beginning, and I'm still there doing something new every day.

Paul: Adding multiple billions of pounds, whether that's in weight or in currency, I think, [chuckles] is always an impressive stat. How does the brand show up then for a consumer? Is it through other suppliers that have the logo on, or is it just literally the fact that they're from Mexico? How do you deal with that because it's a fascinating conundrum?

Ivonne: Yes, the first thing that I want to clarify is that we only market in the US. As an organization, we're a marketing organization, headquartered in Dallas, Texas in the US. We have a two-prong approach mission, which is to increase the imports of Mexican avocados to the US and build the brand Avocados From Mexico in the US.

We develop the brand mainly through consumers, direct to consumers. We have a lot of challenges because we market as a CPG, but we don't have a lot of the elements that are needed or are the most valuable for CPG to market their products. An example is we don't have a package. The stickers is not consistent because we have multiple packers and distributors, and each of them has also their own brand overlapping the Avocados From Mexico brand.

We have been able to find the mechanism through innovation, through creative, disruptive, marketing approaches to really communicate the essence of that brand to the consumers, that what we call that mexicanity that surrounds the experience or brand of the avocados coming from Mexico

Paul: Just to get into the details of it, who pays for that? Are these the growers on this side? Is it distributors? How does that work?

Ivonne: It's a super interesting model and that's a question that we get a lot when I explain what we're doing. Very good question. We are a checkoff program of the US Department of Agriculture, so there's thousands of growers in Michoacán, Mexico, and there's hundreds of packers and distributors in the US.

Those two organizations, for the first time came together under one the checkoff programs of the USDA. For a percent, let's say, of every pound of avocados important to the US goes to the marketing fund. One fascinating fact that actually attracted me to join the organization back in 2014 is that our marketing budget increases proportionally to the increase of the avocado consumption. The avocado consumption, like I mentioned a minute ago, has been skyrocketing.

Our marketing budget gets stronger, there's a lot more things that we can do to engage consumers, and therefore we increase the growth. It's a wonderful cycle that we have been in for the past eight years.

Paul: That's amazing. Are you trying to steal market share from other avocado-growing regions or is the main room, it's just the more people eating avocados is like a rising tide, raise all ships, that mindset?

Ivonne: Yes, I love your question. Super interesting because yes, as a market leader we have 90% of the market share and we're talking about 2.5 billion pounds of avocados that represent 90% of the market share. Also, with that volume, Avocados From Mexico are the only origin that can supply that volume that is available all year round. All the other origins are seasonal.

We have the desire and the responsibility to push the market forward and expand it because if the market expands, 90% proportionally expands, but we help all the other origins and the industry and more importantly, the consumer that is just more in love with avocados every day.

Paul: Love that. The more smashed avo on sourdough that's getting consumed by millennials in cafes on a Sunday morning is the better for you. I love businesses that are like this. If for every pound or every $10 that people spend on avocados, you're going to take 9 of them then that's incredible.

That's like, I think, the largest poker brand in the world, I believe it's PokerStars. They've got something like 80% of the online poker market, which means that their whole realm is, just get people playing poker online. It doesn't matter where they play because it's a good chance. Well, $8 out of every $10 that's spent is going to go in their pocket. It's just market is a different way, it's non-competitive, it's none combative, it's just about getting people infused.

How do you do that? We're not talking about small budgets here. We're talking like Super Bowl-level budgets. How do you get more people consuming a product like that?

Ivonne: It's a perception that we have very deep pockets because we go to the Super Bowl, but the truth is that it's a significant effort on our part and we allocate a significant percentage of our budget to our Super Bowl. It's 100% a strategic decision.

If you think about it, how many products are in front of the consumer when that consumer is watching the Super Bowl and listening and seeing the messages of the advertisers? There are very, very few. You can say, beer, chips, sodas, and guacamole. Guacamole has become a staple in the American staple during the football season.

For a product like ours, for a mission like ours that is to build a brand and to attach a brand to a product, it would have been an enormous missed opportunity if we don't take that moment, what we call a moment of truth, to brand that guacamole that is in front of the consumers when they are watching that event and actually seen the messages in the screen.

We jump from the first year and we have been having a Super Bowl campaign for eight years now. I think if you ask me, that has been one of the fundamental efforts that have really helped to put Avocados From Mexico as a brand, in the map, and in the consumer's mind.

Paul: That's amazing. When you go out and deal with them it sounds like you're putting a decent chunk of your budget towards it. How much work is involved in that from the get-go and also how do you measure success given that you're not directly selling the product?

Ivonne: Yes. One thing that is very interesting is that for us, the Super Bowl TV is just an excuse to create a much bigger campaign on the digital side and to create that buzz on the PR side and get just people to talk about it and talk about it as a brand and talk about the product attached to the brand. It's a brand effort but it has multiple legs. The TV being one of those, but also a very strong digital activation which, by the way, it has been the top one or top two best-performing Super Bowl digital activation for eight consecutive years with significant less budget than competitors, like multi-billion dollar companies.

When you have those three areas just blasting the market with the brand name and the brand message and the conversation about it because it's unexpected, nobody will have expected to have a spot in the Super Bowl. Actually, we were the first fruit ever in history to have a TV spot in the Super Bowl. That creates a conversation in those multiple areas that is strong enough that has cemented our brand in the United States.

Paul: When you are going about doing this thing, are you trying to get people to think about different ways of using avocados? Are you trying to spur them on in the moment like watching the games and say, "Oh yeah, let's make some guac, or what's the output, what's the behavior that you want to drive?

Ivonne: Yes. I missed that, I'm sorry. The second part of your question, that is how we measure, so we measure differently in each of the areas. When we're talking about digital NPR, we measure based on impressions.

I know impressions may seem sometimes like a shadow metric, but when you deliver billions of impressions, which is what we do in a very short period of time, the impact is felt and the frequency of the message is extremely high, to deliver that number of impressions so it stays. It stays with the consumer.

In fact, there is a research that this company, YouGov, does every year one month after the Super Bowl and they measure their increase in purchase consideration one month after the Super Bowl. Actually, they launched that research for three consecutive years from 2018 through 2020 if I remember correctly.

Every one of the years, Avocados From Mexico showed the biggest increase in purchasing then, one month after the Super Bowl. To your question, we're not advertising in the Super Bowl to get consumers to buy avocados for the Super Bowl because by the time that [chuckles] they watch that sport, they already have their guacamole. However, we launched the digital campaign and the beer campaign. Since three years ago, we also start adding shopper efforts in partnership with some retailers that advertise part of our campaign in-store.

The important thing is, remember this is a brand effort. When you're in the Super Bowl and you have that guacamole in front of you, it's branded now. Also, it does impact the volume. Over time all that branding that we're creating is really moving a needle and pushing consumption.

On the other hand, when we talk about TV then we are very, very disciplined and very strict in how we measure. We measure the message understanding that we communicate our core brand message through the TV story, the story that we put in TV. We measure the engagement, we measure the brand recall, we measure the short-term sales. There's a lot of brand metrics also that we analyze before and after. We actually pre-test and then we post-test to see the results.

Paul: It makes a lot of sense in terms of the way that you're measuring it and the things that you are trying to push. When you're measuring all these things, has there been anything that's been out of your control that has massively shifted the consumption of avocados? Has there been a trend that just a meal that went crazy or a recipe that Oprah covered that suddenly meant avocados were selling out that you were like, "Wow, we're measuring avocado sales and they're going crazy? What was that?" You were able to pinpoint it to one thing. I'd love to know if you've got a few examples like that.

Ivonne: The consumers just absolutely love avocados all around. They have this aura around their halo that just to make them-- They're perceived as fun and delicious and very, very healthy as a superfood. We have done plenty of research to identify all those sentiments, but one of those attributes that drive consumption is the health in avocados.

When we analyze the purchase behavior and do some research to see what just drive the consumers to enter the category, the top is health and wellness. We categorize it as health and wellness. Then when you think about it, it's one of the few ingredients that is healthy and also delicious. Also, it's just fun to eat and it makes every meal better.

With this versatility, it's really literally every single meal. You can add it to anything and enhance the whole meal. It's almost a magical ingredient because naturally and organically it has so many attributes. We complement all that with building a phone, for the unexpected brand.

Paul: How do you do that around the idea of-- You've been doing this for eight years now. The mindset and the landscape has shifted in terms of people's awareness of the environment and want it to be more sustainable.

Now, getting more people to buy more product that is imported from another place and the farming element to that, how do you combat that? How sustainable are avocados? Is that a message that you're able to push or something you try to deal with them? I think it's something which every brand in the world has to deal with so I'm fascinated about the way that you guys do.

Ivonne: Yes, we do some of those communication efforts through our PR team, but like I say before, it's a magical product. That magic goes all the way to Michoacán, Mexico where the product comes from. Again, it's the only place on earth where the avocado tree has four blooms, but also 90% of the water, and avocado trees need a lot of water. It's a problem in some other places and origins. In Mexico, 90% of the water is rainfall water. It's a very sustainable business and origin.

Also, we have reforestation programs. It's a very, very solid story about sustainability that we try to communicate through the proper channels, through our PR team is doing a great job doing that.

Paul: That makes a lot of sense. Actually, taking an avocado from Mexico to Dallas is not that far compared to taking an avocado from Mexico to London, where there's a big carbon footprint involved on it here. I think probably millennials across Europe have to feel a bit more guilty because there's not much avocado growth happening in Surrey, as we speak about it. [chuckles]

It's fascinating to see the way that you've grown this brand. How have you been impactful to it? What has been your individual role and how key were you in making sure that this happened?

Ivonne: When I first went to the interviews for the position of head of digital marketing, I didn't even know about the brand. It was before the first Super Bowl.

I didn't have experience in the fresh produce category but I remember the recruiter told me, "They are interested in talking to you at Avocados From Mexico." My first question was, "What's that?" Then she explained to me, "It's a new company, it's a marketing firm. This is the vision of the CEO."

I was curious enough to go, and during that first conversation with the CEO, who then hired me, I asked him honestly, "Why me if I don't have experience in the produce category? How do you think that I can help you?" Then he told me that he was looking exactly for that, for someone that comes from a different industry with no frequency notions of how marketing is done in the fresh produce industry because he wanted to do things differently, and he wanted someone who helps him do what nobody else has done before.

I think that conversation became the foundation of the department that I built from scratch that was digital marketing. I naturally boundaries pusher. I think that my individual contribution has been pushed the boundaries to the limits and that has led to-- We have put things out there that are completely unexpected, that has been called by magazines that talk about innovation as the true creative breakthroughs in marketing.

Only in 2021, we were named among the most innovative companies in the world, the 100 most innovative companies in the world by fast company, but the number one in the branding category.

In the branding category, we were not even supposed to be a brand. Now, we're in the list of the most innovative brands in the world competing with [crosstalk]--

Paul: Set beside Nike, Adidas, actually Avocados From Mexico are here.

Ivonne: Actually, in the top 10 list, there was behind our brands that I deeply admire, like Impossible Foods, TikTok, Go Figure. It's again, I think that is the unexpected, is that lateral thinking instead of vertical thinking where you dig deeper into the obvious, it's just looking for what else is out there and what is the different way that we can get to those outcomes. The outcome being communicating with the consumer and engaging the consumer, but in ways that are completely different, disruptive, unexpected, and never done before.

Paul: Amazing. Right, this podcast is Building Brand Advocacy and I think I have to ask about advocacy. This is the topic of my favorite topic. How does it work? How do you drive advocacy from consumer to consumer? Is this an inspiration around recipes, about usage, about the way that they should be purchasing? Is this something you measure? I'd love to know a bit more.

Ivonne: You named all of it. We have different multiple pillars and you name them. It's about recipes. We have a content pillar that we call key uses and is those recipes that end users that offer the biggest opportunity for growth. For example, less than 1% of the tacos in the US have avocados in it, and it's natural. Every taco should have an avocado.

The opportunity to grow on the tacos and you name our avocado toast, which is a great opportunity, but statistically what we have seen is, there is more than 99% of the tacos that we can actually grow into and add avocados. Then we have the health and wellness pillar that has so many advocates, including nutritionists, physical trainers, and medical professionals. We have an army of supporters organically, let alone advertising organically that really, really believe in the product.

I think we're lucky to have that. It's even more valuable than any advertising that we can possibly do but through advertising, we keep avocados and Avocados From Mexico top of our mind among all those advocates.

Paul: Do you have a database of advocates or customers or anything like that, or is it mainly looking at that high-level sentiment?

Ivonne: We do. Actually, we started building that way back in 2015 before our first Super Bowl. Speaking about that when I get there-- But let me tell you a little bit of the story. My first assignment when I started in Avocados From Mexico in September 2014, was to build a website. We didn't have a website.

The second assignment was to build a Super Bowl digital campaign in three months.

Paul: No biggie.

Ivonne: [chuckles] Yes. It was a bit extreme. When I looked at it is what happen if that Super Bowl don't use that campaign. What is the objective? How we can get there, how we get to launch a successful effort?

I realize that the winner-- Call it the winner, the brands that dominate the Super Bowl digital, are those able to dominate the conversation.

As a small brand, We couldn't afford what other brands afford. Pepsi has a halftime show that is several million dollars, and of course, that creates conversation. All the other multimillion-dollar brands have celebrities that can cost our entire budget for the year. What I thought was that we have something that is organic to us and it's the love of those consumers.

We start building this group of advocates that may have 200 followers on social media, 300, 500, it doesn't matter, but they really love and are passionate about avocados. We brought the digital technology capabilities to organize them. We end up bringing together over 100,000 of those advocates and brand ambassadors. That has been our secret weapon to every single Super Bowl when we let them go to communicate or messages. There's no paid media that can beat the amplification of true brand followers and advocates.

Paul: 100,000. How do you do that? How do you manage it? How do you drive them to go off and spread the word at the right time when you've got the rest of the cons happening?

Ivonne: It's all about organizing them. Once we recruit them is about organizing the communication with them. For that, I'm a huge fan of the marketing technology ecosystem. I think that it had never been a better time to be a marketer because our toolbox, at this point, is just gigantic. Anything that you can imagine, you can go to that marketing technology ecosystem and find it.

We brought the technology and a platform that allow us to organize them and communicate efficiently with all of them, with different specific messages and engage them and activate them, which is the most important, and activate them with the right message at the right time for them to communicate to their networks.

Paul: Just to go deep and nerdy on this, we're talking about this is like a CRM, this software where you're pushing out communications at the right time and saying, "Hey, we'd love you to do this." Was there any incentive structure to get them to do more of it? Were you measuring it in any particular way?

Ivonne: There is. We do keep them engaged during the whole year with small context and sweepstakes and messages. Even thank you messages for being with us and for helping us to spread the love for avocados. They are always free to disengage, but they haven't. We keep them engaged throughout the year and we really activate them very, very strongly during our key campaigns like the Super Bowl cinco de mayo, et cetera.

Paul: Do many of them have the followings or are we talking about a couple of thousand followings? Are they more than hundreds of followings? What people are we talking about here?

Ivonne: They're not, they don't. They are what we call Nano-influencers. If you call them brand ambassadors, they may have, some of them, 100 followers or 200 followers. It's just people like any person that love avocados and consume avocados, but the power is in the togetherness. When you bring them together, then it's just unbeatable really, because nothing can beat a real consumer, passionate for a brand, communicating the message of that brand.

Paul: Hear, hear. I completely backed that. I'm obviously mega-biased because that's [chuckles] what we specialize in. Where I really feel quite passionately is I think that the whole of marketing has just taken a wrong turn when they talk about influencers and they're obsessed with finding someone who's got reach and paying them to pretend to like their brand. Where actually every single brand that has millions of fans who love what they do and would go out and spread the word if you give them the opportunity, but they're too busy trying to convert non-fans to do it. The result is that it's inauthentic.

One person authentically telling 100 people that they love a thing that gets you 100 more fans. One person with 1,000,000 followers pretending to like a product, we know it when they're lying, we know that they're not authentic. That might get you also 100 fans and it's about how do we get authentic people? How do we get that passion to just shine through communications?

I think that definitely there's a shift in a mindset that needs to move within marketing and brand building as a whole and it seems that you guys have got that absolutely nailed.

Ivonne: Yes. Look, I have seen how the influencer industry has been growing and I respect it. There's a lot of influencers that I admire, but overall, generalizing I have been skeptical of influencers because it's just like advertising. Not all the time it has proved that not all the time it's authentic.

We work with influencers, but we're very cautious about it and it has to be an effort that come across as very authentic because it is authentic. When you have brand ambassadors that are spontaneously loving your brand and you just enlist them and say "You're loving the brand anyways, what don't you join us and help us to spread that love that you're already feeling?"

There's something about it that always have attracted me more to that more genuine and organic approach. Yes, like everything, you bring technology to enhance that experience and to make it more efficient, but behind that technology, there's a human with an authentic love for a product and for a brand.

Paul: Yes, exactly. I think that's core and I always think like an advocate, but I do think the definition of an advocate is a customer or a fan who supports and recommends a brand over a period of time. That's what's key it's that period, it's that longevity of their relationship that they have with it. If you think that you can just find someone and then pay them to do a single post, then that doesn't show that there's any longevity to that relationship. It is just a renter post. It's the same as buying an ad but advocacy is so much more powerful than that.

You're right. Some advocates are also influencers, most advocates aren't. It's like, "Okay, well, how do I find the number of those that are influencers and do more with them?" I think there is just that it's got to start with that foundation, authenticity, love, passion, then we can see if we can get reach and influence on top of that. Sometimes you don't, but that's cool because the grassroots part's going to get you the most impact.

Ivonne: Exactly. Yes, that's totally right.

Paul: Right. Actually, we're talking about avocados but all day long, I'm a massive fan, as are you clearly. Just got a couple of quick-fire questions that I wanted to fire in your direction. Does that sound all right?

Ivonne: Yes, sure.

Paul: We've really only, we touched about American Airlines, we've talked about Avocados From Mexico. You've had an incredible career at so many great brands across tons of different industries actually. If you were looking back to your 21-year-old self starting out, what advice would you give?

Ivonne: Between 21 and when I found my path in my career path that fulfills me, I did a lot of testing. One thing that is important is that regardless of how things look in the exterior, you have to find a space, a place, and a culture that matches your values and your core values. The core values of every person are different and that's the reason why there's no one fits all company. If I will have known before, I think that I will be more aware of that was the goal of my career.

I don't regret anything because everything has been a learning but one thing that I learned is that my core values are not attached to maybe a big brand multimillion-dollar company that is already built. My core values are very linked to invention and reinvention and creativity and living things better than the way I found them. That are better played in environments that are new and experimental.

It has been a wonderful journey, but if I will could talk to myself at 21, I will have pointed that toward that direction earlier on.

Paul: You're not just saying that. You're right now, you're writing a book, am I right?

Ivonne: Yes. [crosstalk]

Paul: Very similar in this space. First of all, tell us what that is, and is that the thing that you wish you had read when you were 21 [chuckles] as well to help you get to where you are today?

Ivonne: That's exactly right. When I started writing a book, I knew what I wanted to write about. It's not marketing interestingly, but it's about thinking so the whole book is about thinking. Surprisingly, even to my surprise, I'm already halfway through with 60 pages, all about the art of and the science of thinking.

I think that one of the things that we need to hear right now and we need to practice is that just remember how important it is. We're so busy and our life are so hectic, and we have so much external stimulus from social media and emails and texts and notifications everywhere, that we don't give our brains the space and the time to take one thought that interests us and reflect on it and build upon it to create the next bad things that are going to drive evolution.

The problem is then that we end up following the status quo, which is nothing else that something that somebody else thought before us, and just go with it instead of trying to improve. I think that there's a need in every industry for us to reimagine the power of thinking and that's what I'm writing about.

Paul: So many people say their best ideas come to them in the shower. I don't think that's got anything to do with the fact that they're in the shower, but more of the fact that they don't have any stimulus. It is the only time in the entire day when they have to think and then all the ideas flow. If in that 5-10 minutes, however long you have a shower for, first is you can have all those great ideas. Imagine if you actually just carve that space out for yourself in the day.

Ivonne: Exactly. Also, purposefully and intentionally, say "There's an idea or a thought or a statement that is interesting to me. Let me pause, let me clean the clutter in my brain, and take 5 minutes, 10 minutes to just reflect on it." You have no idea all the new ideas and the richness that comes from those 10 minutes, that we sit and reflect and let our brains work on that thought.

Paul: I love that. I always find one of the most powerful things that I listen to in podcasts or books and reading is to stop. When someone says something interesting is to stop them and then just digest it for a while. If you're out for a run or something like that or commuting, just to think and that's one of those things that's very hard to do because you're constantly, "I've got to do next, I've got to do next. What I've got? I've got a fan and then you've got your phone which has got your emails and what social media and messages. Actually, it's really hard to do that. Do you have any tips for people and how to carve out that space where they can just think?

Ivonne: Yes, exactly. I'm writing in a way that you can open it in every page and have a snackable piece of thought-provoking content that you can just read. Read that it's going to take one minute and then take your time and think about it and reflect as a guide to exercise your brain really, and just regain that ability and space that we all deserve to reflect and think.

Paul: Love it. Can't wait to read it. A couple of other quick-fire questions because that didn't go very quick. [chuckles] What counter-intuitive have you been-- Those things that you expected to go one way intuitively, but actually, it went completely the opposite direction and surprised you.

Ivonne: Through my career or what I'm writing? [crosstalk]

Paul: Wherever you want to go with it.

Ivonne: Okay. You don't know what you don't know. I think that if you don't explore and challenge even sometimes your own belief, you don't find answers that are the ones that are going to try to clearly break throughs or changes or evolution. I think that all the answers to all counter-intuitive situations are found not in the surface, but deeper, deeper, deeper inside. You have to really intentionally dig in to get those answers.

Paul: Love it. Then the last one for me if you were to take anyone from the world of brand building and marketing out for lunch, who would it be, past, present, alive, dead?

Ivonne: I admire the CMO of MasterCard. I admire his passion, his grit, his ability to challenge unapologetically every preconceived notions of marketing. I would love to have lunch with him and pick his brain more to learn from his thinking.

Paul: Great answer. Ivonne, this has been fascinating. I've really enjoyed it. Thanks a lot for making the time and joining me on Building Brand Advocacy. If anyone wants to get in touch with you, how can they find you?

Ivonne: Yes. All my social networks, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram is Ivonne Kinser, all of them so it's easy. 

Paul: Amazing. Cool. Well, thanks a lot.

We can't wait to meet you.