There is famous marketing advice that argues “nobody buys vanilla”.
The lesson of the advice is to be uniquely you, and on an edgier note, to have the courage to attract or repel.
I liken this to choosing our favorite ice cream flavor.
Baskin Robbins famously has 31 flavor choices… So how many go in there to order vanilla?
In a cruel twist of fate for that marketing advice, vanilla is actually the top selling flavor at Baskin-Robbins, followed by Chocolate, Mint Chocolate Chip, Pralines ‘n Cream, and Chocolate Chip.
Vanilla isn’t just the top choice at 3 flavors HQ: Around the country, Vanilla and Chocolate are the top selling flavors. After those two, the Top 5 flavors are: Coffee, Mint Chocolate Chip, Brownie, Strawberry, and Cookie Dough (not in that order).
So actual ice cream choices don’t support the marketing advice that “nobody buys vanilla”. Truth is, vanilla is safe – and lends itself to the widest variety of collaborations and partnerships (aka, toppings).
But as a stand alone flavor… well, I’ll ask you: If you were an ice cream flavor, which flavor would you be?
I’ll argue that if we have to rely on outside adornments, we’re not as strong as we’d like to be.
So, here’s the real lesson. Don’t be afraid to be uniquely you.
In fact, pursue that uniqueness to its fullest expression.
I don’t care if you’re rocky road, mint chocolate chip, or espresso…be the best freaking version of that flavor you can be. Don’t be watered-down mint chocolate chip.