Are You Being Authentic?

Do you fear when keeping it real goes wrong? 🤦‍♀️

That’s a fair concern. We’ve seen time and time again in popular culture over the last few years just how damaging the unintended effects of realness can be. Celebrity tweets can quickly lead to a sudden decrease in work for said twits. If we look closely, though, we can also find a lot of examples of realness bolstering some. Good ole Kanye West’s latest album, “The Life of Pablo,” is the first streaming-only album go platinum despite continuous outbursts on Twitter and walkouts at his shows.

So how do these brands, personal or otherwise, succeed despite the controversy? The obvious answer might go with the old adage, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” but as I’ve stated earlier, we’ve seen time and time again how the wrong information can seemingly destroy someone’s career.

A better answer may be that the difference is CONSISTENCY. It may seem oxymoronic to say, but even erratic behavior can feel familiar. Some of us may relate to this if in our dating lives, but I digress.

The counter to this is when people keep up a certain image and a circumstance or statement occurs that’s contrary to that appearance. That dissonance can quickly sour an impression, especially if the circumstance exposes a difference in values between the audience and the subject. The level of surprise attached to the conflicting behavior can also impact the level of severity. Again, we are more likely to tolerate shocking behavior if it’s coming from a source we expect to shock us. A man with an ax following you is a thrilling scare at a haunted house, but much less welcome on your way home from the bus stop. 

During our latest livestream, a new community member, Jesse, started to describe what he thought of MY brand. I was surprised, thankful, and relieved that his impression was very positive. As I read his description, I found at least 90% of it to align with what I had come to define during my brand audit for Aetoric Design. If you’ve joined us for any of those (every Sunday night at 6:30pm EST! </shamelessplug>), you may know that I’m improvising much of what’s said and that I tend to speak my mind. I’ve crafted my brand in such a way that allows me to be who I am.

How are you keeping it real? Do you have any concerns that you may not be presenting your most authentic self? What measures have you taken to get clarity on who you are?

Consider sharing your feedback in our Facebook Group, Tactical, a community with daily content for business owners, marketers, and designers developing brands.

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Author: Jacob Campbell

Jacob Campbell is the owner of Aetoric Design, an agency specializing in brand identity and strategy. With over 12 years of experience designing & leading entrepreneurial creative efforts, he has reached global audiences with his work for The Futur, Anime Expo, & many others.

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