Stop Hiding Behind Your Vanilla Branding

You’re not gonna like this, but as your business bestie I need to tell you maybe it’s time you stop being vanilla? Maybe it’s time you mixed it up a little? 

Because #TruthBomb … vanilla brands don’t get noticed. ✨

I say this with love, but please… STOP PLAYING IT SAFE! And stop hiding behind your vanilla branding! How often have you chosen a dull corporate logo for your brand because you thought it would attract higher-paying clients and made you look more “professional”? Or copied your competitors’ font and colour style because you felt that’s what you needed to be too? 

And in the end, you’re scratching your head, wondering why you’re attracting dull and corporate clients that don’t light you up?!

Nail Your Niche

As a brand designer, I see this all the time when working with my branding clients. And I get it, you want to play it safe and appeal to everyone and everything. But, I’m gonna drop another truth bomb, when you cast your net too wide by trying to appeal to everyone, you end up attracting no one. Zero. Zilch!

Why? .. Because it’s confusing people! How do they know your service or product is right for them when you’re not 100% clear on your ideal client. Imagine for a second, you were so crystal clear on your ideal client, everything down from what age, gender, industry, and things they love and hate – wouldn’t that make your marketing so much easier? Because you would be speaking directly to them.

I know how you’re feeling, niching is hard. But the results are so worth it – it’s like finding that gooey chocolate centre of a cornetto. Finding your niche can be found at the centre of your passion, your skills and most importantly – your audience’s needs.

your niche

Vanilla Branding

If you try to please everyone, you will probably end up being bland — just plain old vanilla. No one gets offended by vanilla, it’s always a safe choice… but does anyone really LOVE vanilla? I mean Vanilla’s cool and all and goes great with an apple crumble, but do you ever hear anyone raving about vanilla? Probably not. Being vanilla is safe, it’s inoffensive, and let’s face it, not very memorable.

Now think about the best ice cream you’ve EVER had — a flavour that really stuck out.

Maybe it was Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough or a fancy lavender and champagne infused Italian Gelato? Or my personal favourite, Häagen-Dazs Strawberries and Cream drizzled in white chocolate sauce and topped with extra unicorn sprinkles!

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 “meh”?

Now think of the last advertisement that really stuck out to you? 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 lavender ice cream… but you will definitely remember the ice cream parlour that sells lavender ice cream.

Okay, enough with the ice cream analogy – it’s making me hungry!

I think you probably get the point by now. If your brand is too vanilla, it won’t stand out. Everyone will kinda like you, but no one will LOVE YOU. A vanilla brand probably won’t have any raving fans… which are exactly what you need to grow your brand. So please bestie, trust me and ditch your vanilla branding!

Be True To You

I wanna tell you a quick story about a recent client of mine, and how she ditched her vanilla branding. 

A lovely lady got in contact, as she wanted me to create and build her a new website, she explained she wasn’t happy with her current website and was struggling to find clients that she enjoyed working with. And so with any new client, I love to meet them in person as it allows me to get to know the person behind the brand. So just before I met this lady, I had a quick nose through her current website and socials and judging by her branding, I was expecting to meet someone completely different to what I had imagined from just viewing her branding. 

This lady walked into the coffee shop, with gorgeous, bright pink bouncy hair, funky converse trainers, tattoos and a bubbly personality to match. Unfortunately, her personality was not being conveyed online – and so I knew straight away what the issue was, she was not being her true self.

Vanilla Branding

I carefully explained to her that “like attracts like” and by creating a brand personality that is 100% aligned to YOU, it would attract better clients. When I asked her why she was holding back her authentic self, she said I don’t think it’s very professional as a VA (Virtual Assistant) to show myself online with pink hair and tattoos. 

I further explained that her current branding was cold, clinical, plain and very corporate blue. And so I suggested my ideas and asked her to trust me, and together we created the most magical, funky, playful branding with lots of pink – of course! We even added a pink flamingo to her logo, as they’re pink, fun and often stand on one leg, which sparked the tagline of “Bringing Balance To Your Life” – perfect for a quirky and fun VA.

Almost instantly, the brand makeover worked its magic with her prospective clients and now she gets lots of compliments like…

“Wow, I saw your fun website and knew you were the VA for me!”

… and …

“You’re not like any VA I’ve seen online and just had to contact you!”

Hearing feedback like this lights me the f*ck up and so I wanted to ask you, does your brand:

✦  Have a clear and defined niche? 

✦  Authentic Brand Image?

✦  Reflect ‘you’ and your core values?

Never Dull Your Sparkle

I’m here to tell you that it’s ok to do business a little differently, if we were all the same, it’d be a pretty boring world, right? Tell me if this sounds familiar.

✦  You’re afraid to let your freak flag fly, in case it scares off potential new clients.

✦  Feeling a case of comparisonitis and constantly comparing yourself to your competitors

✦  Your brand doesn’t feel like you and you’re starting to resent your business

If you said “Yes” to any of these statements, then you’re unintentionally coming across as a “vanilla” business.

Well, here’s a little truth explosion for you: You don’t need to dull your sparkle in order to run a successful business.

. . .

If you want a little help and advice from a Brand Alchemist, you can book a free curiosity call with me. This could be a good starting point if you’re feeling overwhelmed in your business.

Embrace your inner strawberry and white choc ice cream with unicorn sprinkles. You – and your future clients – deserve it!


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