4 Branding lessons from an american entertainer in Berlin

What Gayle Tufts can teach you about building a brand abroad


A few days ago I had the pleasure of attending Gayle’s Tufts premier show here in Berlin. For anyone outside of Germany, Gayle Tufts is simply another name. But here, especially in Berlin, she has successfully created a following through her comical Denglish productions. Just quickly for those who don’t know, Denglish is where the German language and the English language forge and create a completely new, yet equally incoherent language.

Denglish would have to be the most used in the German business world:
Ok, sind wir alle up to date?

Don’t simply, make an income. Monetise yourself.

I looked around this essentially full house, hundreds of people, and one could think why did all these people come here to hear half German Show? They didn’t come to hear the German half. They, of course, came for the other half. They came to be entertained. And perfect German comedy production for someone who speaks perfect German is simply not as entertaining.

Master the minimal viable product.

What Gayle Tufts has done is master the “minimal viable product” and created a product that allows her to maximise the value she brings to her audience without ever having to perfect those horrible der/die/das/des blah. She’s found her sweet spot - an american sense of humour and love for adventure. 

I often get e-mails that go something like this…
Hi, Brittany, I’m Hannah from the UK. I was in Berlin for 2 weeks this summer and I loved it so much and I’m moving there at the end of the month. I have a masters degree and I’d like to find work in Berlin but the problem is I don’t speak very well German. Any tips?

Sell what you CAN do.

Yes, selling you German in Germany is a bad idea. See, with over 90 million German speaking people here in Europe. 

I founded my business in Germany and my clients don’t hire me for my German. They hire me because I can bring the something that they can’t find in their local talent pool. 

You don’t have to be perfect. You have to be perfectly you.

The true message of Gayle Tufts and her bizarre German Speil, is not that you have to be perfect but you have to be perfectly you.

And then sell it.