Strong Brands ge​​​​t Angry.

Anger that is uncontained is a sign of not being present in the moment, and, therefore, being unable to manage our emotions . However, when used appropriately, anger can be harnessed to muster the courage to speak out against something we disagree with or to defend ourselves when being attacked.

I’m not espousing being angry at all times, nor lashing out at others, or hating on yourself, but if we use our intuition to recognise that a situation or person is causing us anger, then we can investigate what it is about that person/situation making us angry. If we are aware of what is making us angry, we can use that as a learning opportunity to uncover hidden feelings (guilt, grief, helplessness, disappointment, feeling trapped) or fears.

You can read more about anger and anger management from a psychological perspective on MentalHelp.net

My point is, understanding Anger or Tension helps recognise that an issue or misalignment exists, moves us to define a problem and seek a creative solution to it, and this practice applies as much to brands as to people.

What is Your Brand Angry about? 

From a communication or brand planning perspective, strong brands usually stand for something. They have a sense of purpose which creates a sense of community and common interest around the brand.

Another way I like to look at it, strong brands have identified an ‘enemy’ or something that makes them ‘angry’ and they address this with their product or service or communication campaign. For example:

Nike, ‘Just Do It,’ is against procrastination.

Ikea, ‘A better everyday life for the many people,’ is against hierarchy.

Patagonia, ‘If it’s broke, fix it! is against consumption that negatively impacts the earth.

Next time you’re thinking about your company purpose, or your next creative brief, start by thinking about answers to the following questions:

  1. What is your brand angry about?
  2. What problem does your brand find annoying that it aims to solve?
  3. Who / What is your enemy? And how can you speak out against it?

By defining your purpose this way, you ensure that your brand is of value and service to your users and community by solving existing probelms. And ultimately, this is what defines a strong brand.

Live consciously,

Brenda.

Be UNrealistic.

Are you are realist? Do you pride yourself on being pragmatic? Or do you consider being realistic only for the faint hearted and risk averse?

My piece below is inspired by a similar post from Kate Megee that helped me get real about being realistic, and face some deeply ingrained ideas I have held for a long time.

Read through and see if any of it resonates with you.

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The Problem with Dreaming Big

People often tell us to “dream big”. In fact, I repeat this mantra to myself and my kids often, but then I get tough on myself for not doing just that!

This idea to “dream big” cannot happen if deeply ingrained in us is also the ‘sensibility’ to “be realistic.” We can’t beat ourselves up for not “dreaming big” when being “realistic” is actually ingrained in our subconscious from an early age, sometimes by well meaning adults. Many of us grow up in cultures / environments that train people (handicaps them!) to be “realistic,” but then celebrate those who “dream big.” Society often contradicts itself.

But, for people like me, before we are able to aspire to “think big”, perhaps first we should strip away the handicap of “thinking small”, that’s a BIG step change. It’s the notion of stripping back – reducing – rather than adding. Start by taking away some of the toxic thoughts already in there.

Before dreaming big, perhaps we should first strip away the handicap of playing small

Be Protective About What You Allow In

I’ve always thought achieving our ambitions was about instilling ‘confidence’ or developing a ‘can do’ attitude, and then I berate myself for not being able to do that. But  it’s not always about what you add in, it’s sometimes about what you keep out – not instilling a limited or “realistic” belief to begin with.

When people tell me (or have told me in the past – teachers, well meaning adults, work colleagues) to “be realistic” my heart sinks, I feel defeated, sad and sometimes frustrated. It’s a sort of unrealised potential. But I have never gone that one step further to think that perhaps they were being unrealistic! I believed their truth rather than fire up my own reality. These become the recurring stories we tell ourselves.

The Secret to Success is Setting Your Intention

Most successful people (the definition and parameters of success is another topic) are those who laid a plan and took a step.

I’ve always been happy for others who have been unrealistic and achieved their dreams, whilst I have been content to just sit on the sidelines, never quite getting ‘in the game’.

Perhaps they didn’t have self-limiting beliefs, or perhaps they weren’t self-conscious. Or maybe they did, but were able to quiet the noise in their head, whilst I listened to the voice in my head that told me to “be realistic.”

I should have instead made a plan.

I believe that there is abundance in the world, but we cannot tap into this and truly manifest it, if we are being “realistic”. In this way, being “realistic” becomes a block, a form of self-deception and code for staying comfortable, within the confines of current norms. It is an invitation to think small and stay within predefined boundaries that others have set for us.

The question is, what does ‘realistic’ look like? One person’s reality may be another person’s dream since people’s ‘realism’ is based on their own reality (perceived reality) and life experience. Nothing is actually realistic or unrealistic, it’s how you look at it that matters.

A New Definition of Reality

What happens if we look at ‘reality’ in a new way. That things don’t already exist in the world, they are born into reality. So we need to create our reality in order for it to exist. Therefore, everything is unrealistic when we don’t try becasue we must first create them into existence or they will always be unrealistic and out of reach.

Fears and doubts are a natural part of growth, but they become easier to deal with on a rational level as challenges to overcome, when our deeply held underlying belief is that anything can be realistic, anything is possible.

Let’s move ahead and think big and be UNrealistic.

Be Yourself. Everyone else is taken.

Culture helps us derive meaning from the symbols and beliefs that are inherited or created around us. It is a human made construct.

Sometimes culture is enriching and colorful. But when culture makes us focussed on conformity, this becomes contrary to our natural state and this is when dissonance is created.