I was in the local supermarket last week and noticed that a brand of ice cream was promoting a new flavour called “Madagascan Vanilla.”


I didn’t know that the beautiful island of Madagascar had special vanilla that was better than the usual.

I didn’t buy it (it was much costlier than the usual garden variety vanilla), and I doubt that it tastes much different.

There’s a temptation sometimes to give something an exotic name when the contents aren’t really that special.

The problem with this strategy is that when the buyer opens the box and tries the product, if all they get is over-priced vanilla, they aren’t coming back for more.

And they won’t trust you in the future, no matter what you’re promising.

So perhaps, instead of trying to find a catchy title to market what you do, spend your energies on what’s inside the box.

Make your product, service, contribution, art or performance so compelling and brilliant that people will come back for more and bring their friends with them.

Instead of trying to trick people into buying from you once, give them a reason to buy from you again.

Stand out from the crowd, not because you have a lemur on the front, but because you are so much better than everyone else in your field it’s extraordinary.

Vanilla is always vanilla, not matter how you brand it.

And phenomenal is always phenomenal, and will make your personal brand worth something!

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