Have you ever walked into an ice cream parlour that has a dizzying amount of flavours to choose from? Every tub is unique and vying for your attention, and hoping to become the popular favour of the month, recommended on the hipster chalkboard by the cash register, making getting chosen easier for future customers overwhelmed by the options. That’s sort of what being a creative in the digital age feels like, doesn’t it?
Just like one of the many tubs of ice cream seeking to be chosen as a cone, your personal brand needs to stand out, be memorable, and attract the right fans. In a previous article I once mentioned that the benefits to building a strong personal brand are that it allows you to stand out, charge more, and attract fans. Let’s revisit this idea with the ice cream analogy, shall we?
Just as a clear name, appetizing colour and attractive presentation make ice cream eaters more likely to choose one flavour, being able to communicate your genre, and having a defined visual aesthetic help your personal brand cut through the sea of options.
The Instagram photo above was taken at La Diperie in a trendy neighbourhood of my city. I’ll let you know for a fact that Lavender Belgian Dark Chocolate Ice Cream is a little pricier than a generic/questionable ice cream(?) from the gas station. Having a clear brand of quality means you can charge more, simple as that.
Some people will walk into the parlour and go for bubblegum blast. Others will deliberate for a few moments before trying lemon sorbet. Some pride themselves in their perceived superiority with non-GMO-low-fat-gluten-free-vegan-free-range-hippie chocolate. It’s probably not a shocking revelation to you that no one goes out of their way to choose vanilla.
Plain vanilla ice cream is the default flavour that placates everybody and makes a good base for more interesting toppings. Calling something (a piece of art, for example) “vanilla,” generally means it’s trying to satisfy everybody, and therefore doesn’t create super fans of anybody.
With so much content out there for fans to consume, showing your true colours, taking a stand for what you believe in, and letting your authentic personality shine though is how you attract the right kind of loyal fans who will help you sustain a long, independent career as a creative. So go out there and be your own unique ice cream flavour.