Unleash the Power of Intention in your Branding.
Part 2 of 3: Why am I here?
Why am I here?
Before getting into the holistic and empowering potential within branding, I was a rather naïve student undergoing my degree in Marketing and Advertising with Media and Cultural Studies. I was attracted to it because in it I saw the potential to learn about how to do some work where I could travel internationally, and be creative… two things that I identified with on a subconscious level.
I was in university in London and it was the final semester of our first year. In our Media Culture class we were studying the media’s influence on our culture and analyzed the top charts to discover the trendiest TV shows and musicians at the time. We were beginning to develop an understanding about how the media influences buyer behavior, and sets cultural norms. It was 2009 – according to reality TV the #1 show was The Kardashians, and Lady GaGa was #1 for the music charts. I listened to the lecturer, sipping my coffee, perhaps humming the tune Poker Face in my head.
Personally, I couldn’t really appreciate the Kardashians, because I just didn’t relate to them. I didn’t find the show entertaining. I didn’t really get why it was so, nor did I feel the need to go deeper into understanding why at that time. But apparently what they were doing was serving some great need for Western culture… in the industry of entertainment, self-image, and personal care. On top of their extremely popular show, each of the ladies had their own cosmetic and clothing lines that were making millions of dollars in revenue.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
— Carl Jung
And then awareness unfolded, a new perspective sunk in.
I left class and over the next following months, what I was introduced to during the Media Culture class started to seep into my awareness. I began to notice lifestyle brands and product lines created or endorsed by celebrities and started to become conscious of my own shopping and lifestyle habits, and those of my mates (peers, friends). I noticed parallels between what was being broadcast through these shows that I thought I couldn’t even relate to, and the life I was living. All the while learning more of the tactics. I started to feel trapped, that I had been lured into becoming a human product of their cultural influence, with no say or influence in the matter.
What was the appeal they were having? What about their narrative was so compelling for people to connect with and be reflected so greatly in the mainstream?
Was Lady Gaga providing us a character to unleash our own eccentric expression? Did her presence allow us to witness our own appreciation, or resistances towards being a unique sparkle of extra-ordinariness?
And what was intriguing about the story being lived out through the Kardashians? Was there some value we received by getting an intimate glimpse into the ordinary lives of the rich and famous?
What was the purpose of them doing what they do?
What was the intention for our consumption of it?
And what was the effect?
The dots started connecting, and the stars aligned, revealing a determination for change.
The main realization I had was that I was being an unconscious participant and it didn’t feel good. Not because of what they were doing, but because I wasn’t connected with my own truth, essence, and intentions, simple ability to be a conscious choice maker and creative participant in life. This was very upsetting!
In all honesty an early-adult life existential crisis emerged eight months later when I realized that I truly felt that the media and marketing industries were creating a standard of living based off of superficial values. AND, I was learning, being trained on how to become part of the machine. It spun me out. I felt defeated and entrapped. I saw no way out and had lost sight of the few first assignments I had chosen to complete during the degree. The report about creating a marketing strategy for a Slow Food movement in Italy and to better understand health food trends to grow the green market sector.
It progressed into an interim of university style self-exploration. Smiling through the upset, and believing what a bestie during 10th grade had once reminded me, that “things would get better.”
“I don’t know if it’s changing already with ‘Joanne,’ but my intention is to bring people together that don’t know each other and that would maybe feel awkward, but somehow be brought together by the music. That’s what I wanted to do. Because that is pure and authentic to my family history and what I stand for.”
— Lady Gaga
What about love?
It wasn’t until another year later that I started interning and eventually working full-time for a Matchmaking company, and realigned with love – this compelling, and meaning-making quality of life. I felt alright about promoting that.
This experience had its own twists, turns, and awakening realizations, but through it I re-aligned with the potential to use branding as a way to share a message, connect people with each other, and enhance others’ lives from the inside out.
I left the company after two years to embark on a journey of healing outside of business development and communications, but the matchmaking experience served to reinvigorate a sense of purpose within communication. Promoting human and emotional connection I had decided was something that aligned with my deeper values, there was a message, meaning, and potential for impact I felt inspired to create.
It’s about aligning with YOUR intention.
This was the start of healing my perception of the media and communications industry. I was able to begin shifting out of the feeling of powerlessness, and into a realization that branding, marketing, advertising and promotions are all tools that have the ability to share a message that can influence people in a way to enable new experiences within themselves, created with others, and that can promote strong values, serving to uplift, inspire, create, and grow compassion.
And is this what people really need?
You tell me.
How do you think these tools can be used best?
As of 2017 there are approximately 1.73 billion people in the world. Each is born in a different time and place, into their own unique set of circumstances. We are all connected, and yet meeting each persons needs can be general, like clean water and fresh air, or being provided a physically or emotionally safe experience, or unique, like allowing one to see and recon with an unexpressed aspect of themselves with you (your brand).
If you’re reading this, you’re an expert in meeting someone’s need.
What is that need?
How are you using intention to create your brand experience, and connect with your peers, clientele, patients, or tribe, to meet it?
I believe we’re all creators, and I’m writing this series to intentionally awaken and inspire the creator in y o u.
For more on the benefits of intention, welcome to read the 3rd and final article in this 3 part series, here.
Brand Creation Strategist
Thank you for reading. Read the next in the series Unleashing the Power of Intention in your Brand” by reading part 3 of the series, here.
©2019 Nectar & Co Creation