Is Your Brand Too Vanilla?

Mama always said, “you can’t please everyone”. Yet a lot of us go through a big part of our lives trying to please everyone. We try not to say anything too offensive, we try to remain neutral in most conversations, and to say what we think others want to hear.
At some point, some of us experience a moment or event that changes us. It’s the moment we decide to break out of that shell and let our light shine – whatever color that light may be.
How does that super cliche quote go…?

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
― Bernard M. Baruch

Vanilla Brand Strategies

If you try to please everyone, you will probably end up being bland – just vanilla. No one gets offended by vanilla… it’s always a safe choice… but does anyone LOVE vanilla? Do you ever hear anyone raving about vanilla? Probably not. Being vanilla is safe, it’s inoffensive, but it’s also bland.
Now think about the best ice cream you’ve EVER had – a flavor that really stuck out.

vanilla branding
Photo by Mark Cruz on Unsplash

Maybe it was Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chunk, or one of those new age lavender or cucumber ice creams, or champagne gelato (my personal fav).
It probably wasn’t vanilla, was it?
Think about brands and their communications… who sticks out? Who do you LOVE? Who is just plain old “eh”?
Walmart? Vanilla.
AT&T? Vanilla.
Most of the boring ads you see on FB? Vanilla.
Memorable? Probably not.
Now think of the last advertisement that really stuck out? The last brand you interacted with that you thought “wow, they’re cool af” Or the last person you met that made you think “wow, I really want to be their friend.” Was it someone vanilla?
And hey, maybe you don’t want to try cucumber ice cream… but you will definitely remember the parlor that sells cucumber ice cream.
Okay, I think you probably get the point by now. If your brand is too vanilla, it won’t stand out. Everyone will kind of like you, but no one will LOVE YOU. A vanilla brand probably won’t have any early adopters or die-hard fans… which are exactly what you need to grow your brand.

Developing Your Brand Strategy Flavor

I’m not saying you need to go as far as cucumber ice cream… but at least try adding some sprinkles!

Photo by Puk Khantho on Unsplash

Think of developing your brand as crafting the recipe for your favorite ice cream. Take some time to think about who you are, what ingredients you have, and what will work together. You don’t have to be black or white – chocolate or vanilla. We’ve seen some pretty crazy flavors out there – and they work!
Keep in mind that the most important thing to remember is to be true to yourself. Develop a flavor that you like – one that comes naturally. If you have to pretend you like it, it’s not authentic. People can smell a lack of authenticity from a mile away! Remember, we don’t all have to act “cool” or try to be what we think everyone likes. Hey, I’m not a fan of bubblegum ice cream, yet I see it everywhere I go!
Take some time to develop your ideal recipe. If you need some help, check out our branding guide!
And if you need assistance from a seasoned ice cream parlor that has developed some pretty amazing ice cream flavors, give us a shout at