How Inner Resistance Affects Your Outer Brand Results
Prefer to read with your ears? Listen to the Authentic Brand podcast episode on this topic below.
When you’re feeling down, the world seems grey. When you’re happy, the world seems bright. When you’re unclear on your brand, the business world becomes hazy. It’s time to discover how your internal brand creates your outward results.
Your brand is affecting your results. (Surprise!)
But I’m not just talking about how your logo captures the attention of prospects or how your unique value proposition sets you apart.
I mean how you see and feel about your brand is directly impacting the success of your business.
“Whatever action you take in a state of inner resistance will create more outer resistance and the universe will not be on your side; life will not be helpful. If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in.”
– Eckhart Tolle
OK, so Tolle likely wasn’t thinking of branding when he said this, but he totally nailed it anyway.
Think about your relationship with your brand identity:
Are you clear on your message? Or are you leaning on your products and services to set you apart? Do you dread being asked, “What makes you different?”
Carrying around that uncertainty has its weight. Maybe you’ve even felt it before:
- Feeling like you’re flailing through your elevator pitch at networking events
- Desperately changing your message for every person you meet.
Is Your Brand Adaptable or Just Unclear?
Have you ever been a candidate in speed-date interviews? You move from table to table, being interviewed by a wide range of companies for a wide range of roles.
I remember preparing for these interviews and having an idea of the position I wanted and the work environment I was looking for. But three interviews in I suddenly found myself pitching myself for a job I didn’t even really want. I would never apply for such a position in normal situations but felt the pressure to fit into the box that was put before me. It felt icky.
But that’s what entrepreneurs and business owners are doing every day when they have internal resistance with their brand identity. That lack of clarity causes them to start changing their offering for every possible prospect and opportunity. They become chameleon brands.
That chameleon brand blends in, becomes invisible, and often, fizzles out. Your internal resistance creates external resistance.
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Adopting an Inauthentic Brand
Sometimes companies can have their brand’s message nailed down but still be faced with internal resistance – without even knowing it. They adopt a brand identity that isn’t an authentic representation of themselves. This business may have everything neatly packaged – message, visuals, target market, everything. But if that company is being run by people who aren’t invested in that message, it starts to fall apart. For real!
There was once a fairly large organization that had its purpose, vision, values, message all clearly defined – and it was a great fit for the clients who wanted to work with that business. However, the business owner didn’t believe in it. Even though they spoke the message, their investment in that message didn’t come through in practical scenarios. (Imagine hating seafood and having to eat and preach about it all day.)
The decisions they made, the partnerships they entered, their relationships with their clients – none of them were in alignment with the message they were trying to share. Eventually, that company started to get in trouble. They started to lose clients, their reputation was tarnished, and the business was sold.
The business was purchased by one of my clients. We worked together to assess the brand and realized that the message was actually on point. It was well-crafted and appropriate, and it was made up of principles and values that my client actually held. With a refreshed visual identity and brand relaunch, it was time to see how the company would fair with a new captain at the helm.
After the initial adjustment period, things started to change.
Clients started returning.
New opportunities were extended to the company.
There was a buzz around the business as if their audience could tell that something was different.
The message hadn’t changed, but the messenger had.
Sometimes we cling onto what we see other people doing. We see or hear something great and we try to adopt that message into our strategy. But unless that is something you truly believe in, that brand may come with a level of resistance. That’s why it’s so important to start inward and work your way out when you are developing your brand.
Focus on the internal truth behind your brand’s message and reflect it outward. When your internal resistance falls away, you open the door for more and better-suited opportunities for your brand.
That doesn’t mean that defining your brand will immediately create a lineup of clients outside your door overnight! It’s one thing to KNOW your brand, it’s another thing to communicate it to the world.
You can’t win the lottery without buying a ticket. And you can’t attract people with your brand if you never start marketing yourself. But either way, you need to start with creating something that is intentional and, above all, authentic.
Check in on how much resistance you are experiencing in your brand, and if you’re not sure, look at the EXTERNAL clues:
- If your audience seems confused → you likely need more internal clarity on your message
- If your audience is shutting you down early into your relationship → you may have adopted an identity that your audience can sense isn’t quite your own
- If your team seems uninvested → your message may not be one that resonates with them
- If you spend time flailing through your marketing → you may be unclear on your vision
- If you’re working on projects that don’t arouse your passion → you may need more clarity on your brand’s purpose
- And if you’re constantly chasing or working with clients who aren’t a good fit → your values may not be represented in your brand’s message.
Gauge Your Brand Clarity, Confidence & Communication
Here’s a challenge for you. On a scale of 1-10…
- How CLEAR are you on your message?
- How CONFIDENT are you in your message?
- How actively are you COMMUNICATING that message?
Remember, internal resistance creates external resistance, so start by clarifying your authentic brand message.