Gelato and Standing Out

by | Personal Branding, Real Talk

I’d like to think that I’m a gelato connoisseur after my husband and I had a trip of a lifetime visiting Italy (Florence, Venice, and Rome) a couple of years ago.

We visited historic museums, ate amazing food, drank great wine, and overindulged in gelato.

Our routine went like this:

Eat breakfast on the quaint balcony of our boutique hotel (thinking about gelato).
Spend the day exploring the city, and then getting gelato.
Sample various restaurants for lunch, and then gelato.
Head back to the room to chill before dinner, but first, gelato.
Take a post-dinner stroll, and then…you get the point.

Gelaterias (gelato shops) were on practically every cobblestoned corner offering the same basic assortment of flavors.

There was no shortage of places to indulge in this culinary souvenir. But we literally stumbled into the gelateria that stood out the most while exploring Florence.

We visited the area of a famous bridge (Ponte Vecchio, which means “Old Bridge” in Italian) and soaked up the sights. As we continued to walk, I looked down and noticed my sneaker appeared to have disturbed what was clearly fresh poop on the sidewalk.

I was grossed out and unbothered at the same time. After all, there’s a difference between stepping in poop in Italy and New York City. So, after cleaning my shoe, we walked towards the end of the bridge to continue to our next destination.

To our surprise, there was a gelateria right on the corner. It’s as if the Universe said, “Sorry about the poop. Have some gelato.”

Well, let me tell you, the shop we found, Gelateria Santa Trinita, turned out to be THE BEST gelato we had in Italy.










Among the gazillion gelaterias we visited, it’s the only one I vividly remember the name of two years later.

Don’t get me wrong, the other gelaterias were good, but this one took the experience to the next level.

This makes me think about the challenges of standing out in a competitive market. I know how hard it can be to attract clients when your industry is flooded with people who offer the same services.

Most small businesses struggle with differentiation because they:

  • Don’t have a clear unique selling proposition
  • Mimic the same offerings as others in their industry
  • Go through the motions without seeing results
  • Lack focus on a specific target audience

When I think about Gelateria Santa Trinita, it stood out from the other shops because they offered a variety of high-quality flavors that the other gelaterias didn’t have. Also, the shop had a seating area in the back decorated with wine bottles where we were able to sit and savor each scoop.

The gelato was so good that we ate it and then hopped right back on the long line for a second round as soon as we were done.

So, why am I sharing this trip down memory lane?

Because I want YOU to be like Gelateria Santa Trinita.

That’s why I created my personalized Brand Prep service to help small service-based business owners, consultants, and freelancers gain clarity on their unique brand.

It gives you the chance to pick the brain of a professional (that’s me!), define your personal brand, and get a customized action plan, so that you can stand out.

Sure, an action plan doesn’t sound as sexy as gelato in Florence, but it can make a difference between struggling to sell your services and having your ideal clients flock to you.

When you’re confident about how to present (and promote) your unique value, people will remember your name, buy from you, refer you to others, and come back again.


Learn more about my LinkedIn Strategy Sessions!

Marietta Gentles Crawford
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Marietta Gentles Crawford

Marietta Gentles Crawford is a writer, personal brand strategist, and author of "From Nine to Thrive: A Guide to Building Your Personal Brand and Elevating Your Career." With over 15 years' experience climbing through top corporate brands, she helps small businesses and freelancers communicate their brand message and stand out from the crowd.

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