Anger is a tool that can help us navigate upsetting situations in life. It’s senseless to think that anger is the opposite of compassion since it can materialize from immediate threats, unwarranted optimism, excessive expectations, or social injustices. In fact, anger can fuel positive change when the intense emotions are based on altruism or call for self-development.
However, like any other tool, it should be used creatively with caution. It is difficult to restrict anger, but with practice in daily activities, whether lining up at the supermarket to delays in service deliveries, engrave in your mind that you have a choice to express your emotions through a sophisticated narrative and not in a fuming way.
Recognize that when circumstances are out of your control, anger is not a smart choice
Employ “discomfort caveat” – let others know that that you are experiencing anger and potentially your actions might not be clear or even worse, they might be explosive. Apologize in advance. In this manner, the other person will become less defensive.
Slow down to re-consider your response and evaluate whether your anger will help or hurt the situation. This way, you can make a sound decision rather than a fast one.
Provocation is inevitable in unfriendly cases, use speedometer technique. The process starts by creating a list of descriptive words that encapsulates your emotions in anger and assign a number to them. For instance:
100 miles per hour explosive state
60 miles per hour a pissed off frame of mind
Ultimately to 30 miles per hour where you feel calm and collected.
Of course, the intensity varies, so you should have at least 10-speed numbers and ten words summarizing the strength of your anger. If you feel way above your speed limit, then you need more time to slow down till you put on the brakes. Do not forget that creating a visual image reinforces your efforts to manage your anger. Remember, sometimes, no reaction buys time and gives you an upper hand.
Alleviating fear of change and playing on what-if scenarios is what makes a great strategist. People change, realities change, perspectives change, preferences change, as Heraclitus famously said: “The only thing that is constant is the change.”
Visionaries don’t hold anything sacred. Indeed, they don’t classify concepts, people, or circumstances into bad or good files but look into the future and are torchbearers of progress without any sense of entitlement.
Great strategists live in the future; they consume, learn, and extract the essential to recognize the change wave. They assimilate the latest news across many industries that influence people’s social, financial interests, and behaviors. They can notice complicated cultural shifts and simplify the concepts. A good strategist builds a compelling narrative and generates excitement. Their rhetoric is founded in adaptation, remodeling, reshaping, a metamorphosis only what the future will look like.
Adopting this mindset is the most critical step in being a brilliant strategist. Develop the attitude; solutions will materialize.
How do you habituate this constructive view?
1- Observe cultural transformation. For example, the institutions are no longer the authority. The emergence of peer to peer transactions in the financial industry to self-help and pursuit of individuality is the wave of change that will significantly affect the future.
2- Forget what has been and look into desirable possibilities. Ask yourself, what is my strongest point or the foundation of my brand that can solve many problems? Once identified, the additional assumptions will be removed and deliberately; our choices guide us to solutions reaching the desired possibility.
3- Observe actions. As our common truth changes, people’s attention and desires change. Pay attention to how people are spending their time and money. Building your thinking process around your observations leads to an effective strategy.
4- Develop a daily routine and incorporate technology resources for efficiency and an increase in productivity. Subscribe to daily analysis of your line of interests. Look into sub-culture news and controversial ideas that are infiltrating the mainstream conversation. Connect with people to share and gain different views and perspectives. Visit museums and galleries, follow influencers. As for efficiency, use appsto stream your social media, explore, and receive real-time news headlines.
On a final note, brushing past fixed ideas, listening attentively with an ability to understand and re-imagine the world are the keys to becoming a great strategist.
Featured image: by Meryl McMaster, a Canadian photographer whose best-known work explores her Indigenous heritage.
People are drawn to the luxury industry for different motives. The traditional luxury ambassadors hold on to the ephemeral feelings driven by the narratives touching on superiority and pride. Then again, the experience hunters are seeking personal connections in the brand’s promise to unleash their dreams. Last but not least, the hip netizens who are fuelling the luxury space are powered by stories and the purpose of the brand. They have leaped over from “what I have” attitude to the sphere of “Being.” More and more, the mindset is about “who I truly am” & “what I stand for.” They want to be rewarded by the legacy, the qualitative experience and most importantly the echo of self-identity.
With this mindset, the brand promise matters more than ever. From everyday luxury such as Starbucks to super premium brand SilverSea Cruise line or ultra high-end brands such as Graff, desires are stimulated by the strength, the reputation and the feelings tied up to the brand promise. Once developed and channeled into multimedia storytelling, the narrative must resonate with the personal branding of the luxury aficionados whether the futurists, rebels, individuality seekers or vanity driven groups. It should evoke an identity aligned with self-perception and aspiration of the customers.
Recounting the brand promise is more than touching off swagger or reality-distortion but skillfully emulating personal achievements, memories, and traits. A compelling narrative taps into the subconscious reveals the not so perfect identities and connects with weird fantasies with no judgment. Interpretation of brand promise through unexpected whimsical campaigns to the unassuming rebellious image is all about keeping it “real.”
Here are some suggestions on how to bring your luxury brand promise to life and connect with the expressions of identities:
Observe many types of consumption to adapt the content. The how and where your audience garners and shares their personal information.
Feature desirable qualities even so with an honest portrayal of human behaviours and circumstances. Tiffany, the premier jeweller, designed the window displays of its 5th Avenue, in tribute to New York’s graffiti culture while adding a gutsy attitude insinuating that things can happen in real life.
Illustrate the concept of “who I am” and “what I stand for.” Luxury fitness brand Equinox voice not only a healthy luxury lifestyle but what gives meaning to life and what succinctly defines their customers.
Create stories that forge emotional connections and exhibit meaningful outcomes. Rolex “tell a story campaign” features excellence, history, perfection and keeps us engaged by relaying it’s ambassadors experiences and testimonials. Oscar-winning director James Cameron in a press release about the brand’s Academy Awards sponsorship said “A Rolex is not only a beautiful watch and a masterpiece of engineering, it’s very tough. It’s a watch that you can take into any environment and which can stand up to the pressure. So, what you’re saying subliminally to the audience is: that character can take the pressure, too; he or she has what it takes.”
Define the characteristics of your brand and align them with your storytelling. The unapologetic authenticity in the brand’s narrative is appealing and strengthens bonding between the brand and it’s customers. Tom Ford’s Limited Edition F*cking Fabulous fragrance branding, is a perfect example of blunt authenticity of the brand and Tom Ford’s edgy spirit.
Leveraging narrative to construct and associate values to the self-concept of the consumers needs to meet the expectations, perceptions and most importantly it must be consistent with your brand promise.
What happens when you achieve to liberate your mind, when you weave memories, capture purely personal feelings and unfold your experiences in colour? Beyond doubt, beautiful imagery! Nothing is as fulfilling when you come to terms with your repressed unconscious. Latvian pop surrealist artist, Jana Brike is the epitome of this awareness. With Masters in the Art, she transforms taboos, despairs, pleasures, desires, and vulnerabilities by channeling the energies to discover her true self and create a sublime art. Unassumingly, she explores her life story and feelings, re-creates and allows us to re-live the stimulations.
Unapologetically, she has put aside manuals, instructions of social behaviors and codes of hierarchical society by refusing to accept conformity without examination. In spite of that, she believes in the naivety of human soul and purity of love in an unconventional manner. She touches on existential life question, embracing with harmony and awareness her transformation much like the cosmic ocean cocooning planets and stars which continually create new forms even if they are interdependently connected and travel in similar paths.
Jupilings: Jana Brike, tell us about yourself and how you got into art:
JB: Honestly, I’ve been an artist as long as I remember myself. I always was the kind of “beauty would save the world” person and knew I would do something creative. As a little child, I loved art exhibitions, ballet performances, theater, reading books, looking at book illustrations, watching movies and especially animations. It felt like these expressions transcend the human condition so beautifully. So I knew I would do something in that field. I disliked stage though and loved spending countless hours hatching and brewing something creative in the quietness of my room. So painting choice came naturally.
Jupilings: Who is your protagonist?
JB: It is always me, in a broader sense. My work is my visual poetic auto-biography through which I look at my experiences, at what it means to be human, I change these experiences and conditions into something meaningful, they become like stages of initiation into a broader and more profound self, for myself and hopefully others.
Jupilings: What inner force shapes your artistic concepts:
JB: Personal truth and love. Lately, it is also something more fragile, like naked vulnerability and hope. I feel that the spear that destroys your armor and injures your hardened skin can itself break in the gentle softness of your open heart. That fierce gentleness and complete openness, I want to channel it into my work. Even if living like that in a world like ours is not yet always possible.
Jupilings: As an artist, what role and social responsibility you shoulder:
JB: I don’t think it differs much from the role and social responsibility of any human being – to experience the wonder of life to the best of your ability, in the way that expresses the best version of your self. Otherwise, the role differs from artist to artist, there as many forms of visual expression as there are individual personalities of artists out there. I personally always felt that role as some peculiar form of shamanism, for me the work always involves a deeply meditative state, certain transcendental energy, even a sense of ecstasy, specific sensing of and work with the future possibilities like in dream states and more. Work with collective archetypes, with collective daydreaming like in myths. In an as aware way as I currently can. I don’t know if it’s the same for other artists.
Jupilings: What narrative transpired in your latest collection and especially “two angels in the deep dark wood”:
JB: I feel my work less like a linear narrative and more like a piece of visual poetry. Those are stories very much about intimacy – towards your own body, your soul in the first place, and then between you and another. Also, about playfulness, joy, discovery of your true nature, the pleasure of being alive.
Jupilings: You create defiant art, exploring social and cultural pressures, how do you preserve the standards of propriety while discussing and weaving your visual narrative:
JB: I don’t think my characters defy public opinions or propriety; I feel more like they live as if there were no outside opinions or pressures to consider, as if one’s freedom and integrity and love was the only law to live by – maybe that is what gives this slightly utopian feel to my work. And I don’t think on much else while I paint, and definitely not the collective standards and expectations. If any rules guide me, it’s my personal sense of ethics and my own deeply felt experiences.
Jupilings: What is one undisclosed or mysterious piece of information about yourself, you would bravely share with your audience:
JB: All my important personal feelings, thoughts and human experiences are shared through my painting with no reserve and no holding back, truly. At the same time, to me, there is something numinous to the painting process, as if I transcend my trials and tribulations in an in-depth emotional sacral process while I paint, so the finished painting is a sort of personal icon to me. This process is mysterious, even to me, I know for sure that I emerge healed on the other end. The particulars of my life facts don’t matter.
Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you?
JB: Definitely, the first step is finding your own personal power, a broad sense of self-worth, self-love, self-respect, self-care that doesn’t require external validation. I honestly believe that the way you treat and think of yourself, the world will reflect that right back to you. How worthy of the love you consider yourself. And having this personal base foundation strong, the next step is to reach out and help the sisters, to share, support, encourage. The changes in the society do not star from outside and from the top as law as much as they grow from inside – you change yourself, spread it to the family, closest tribe, and then outwards, to the society. From the center of your heart outwards.
Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist?
JB: I think it is first a very honest work with yourself as a human, “brand name” comes much later; first, you need a very solid substance of who you truly are, something to attach that brand name to. You have to find yourself, to dare to be yourself and stay true to yourself, celebrating your uniqueness, your individual view of the world. To dare to speak about what is important to you personally, about what makes you burn, what is your bliss, what is your passion. Then comes very serious, very responsible and professional work ethic and very committed work on the necessary skillsets. And just after all that can you think of brand names. Of course, vice versa is possible, you can come up with some loud noise of a brand name to cover up the emptiness behind, and it would work for one day, but it wouldn’t give satisfaction, nor serve any worthwhile purpose with a capability to last.
Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:
JB: Self-doubt is also a kind of fear – that you may fail, that you won’t be good enough etc. – so it’s a question about fear.
To me, the answer is almost constant self-observation. I look at, and question every thought or emotion that rushes through me, and I question where it’s coming from, and what purpose does it serve. And in the very base, I feel there are two basic emotions, or energies – that of love, and that of fear (which further feeds anger, hate, etc.). So I question my motives, viewpoints, decisions, thoughts daily, asking myself where they come from and what I will choose today – love or fear. Every single day. All the time. I don’t think there is any other way. It’s a daily work, daily hygiene – like wash your dishes, make your bed, brush your teeth and also weed out your soul and mind and motivations and keep them clean.
Jupilings: The blockchain technology will remedy many issues linked to provenance, transparency, copyright, ownership, valuation, and authenticity in the Art Market. And indeed, it could make it easier for artists to get paid and get known. What are your thoughts about this technology which is about unconstrained collaboration, & promise of fair rewards for the artist? Would you consider using blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts?
JB: I haven’t investigated its potentials much beyond what is commonly known about new types of currencies, but I am excited about new possibilities and growth, and this new era we live in with new kinds of sharing and exchange. These are exciting times.
Jupilings: What are the problems in the Art Market do you want these platforms to solve?
A lot of issues are already being solved by just internet, like artists complete dependence on the establishment, necessity for some person who is a mediator between viewer and artist and on whose good grace and evaluation an artist depended – it’s nearly gone, you as an artist can find your public even if you don’t have a gallery or a magazine which would publish you. Also if you stand way out and beyond what the establishment considers a value. I think it’s a big gain all in all. More will be changing I expect, so it’s good to have one’s senses keen and alert.
Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why?
JB: I’d like to be able to fly; I think that would be a thrilling sensation.
Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:
JB: Lead role in my life’s story is enough for me.
Jupilings: What is your life motto?
JB: Stay true to myself, live with an open heart, accept myself as I am – that’s the basic guideline. Although I don’t despair if some days I can’t manage this.
I have somewhat of an inner protest to things like verbal mottos; those tend to turn into self-imposed laws like a box you can’t get out of it. I live as I live, I am what I am, I have my inner compass that guides my path, and it doesn’t depend on pre-conceived mental constructs much.
Good communication is not to impress but to discover possibilities, to gain advocates, to improve life for others, to resolve issues, to be heard and most importantly to be understood. Whether the communication is through mass media, face-to-face verbal or non-verbal, the challenge is how to breathe friendly, skilled, knowledge-based and mindful basics into your dialogue.
There are many factors that influence the outcome of our communication still our attitude will determine the course of the interaction. The dynamic approach to cultivate sentiments of compassion, curiosity and remain flexible will support our content and intention. With this view in mind, the pitfalls of communicating across cultures, businesses or interpersonal relations can be avoided by tweaking our style of communication based on the following tips:
From your non-verbal cues such as eye contact, posture, or position of your arms to keep track of the conversation, the critical element is to be attentive. By asking relevant questions, replacing unnecessary conversation fillers like “um”, “er”,… with pause to think and respond are the effective way to engage your listeners and show your interest. Make sure to avoid personal judgements and allow people to finish their sentences.
Empathy is not about agreement, is the ability to pass through emotions, threats and complexities with confidence and awareness. Nurturing our mirror neurons by observing and being mindful of people’s emotional experiences, builds trust and effectively improves your dialogue.
“Ultimately, peace is just not about politics. It’s about attitudes; about a sense of empathy; about breaking down the divisions that we create for ourselves in our own minds and our own hearts that don’t exist in any objective reality, but that we carry with us generation after generation. And I know, because America, we, too, have had to work hard over the decades, slowly, gradually, sometimes painfully, in fits and starts, to keep perfecting our union.”
The first step is to listen empathetically. This means listening with the intention to understand. By doing so, the receiver establishes a positive climate for the speaker to open up. Repeat what has been said with the same words and summarize in you own way to make the speaker aware that you have understood what is the issue or the story. It is a great moment when we stop judging, probing or interpreting someone else’s experiences and motives.
A resilient communication process is an approach to evaluate a situation or crisis by breathing normality to the interaction, validating the negative feelings and focusing on positive course of action. Clearly, spearheading constant optimism is ineffective without use of alternative logic. Broadly speaking, resilience in crisis management is when optimism and a narrative to make sense of the situation serve as the roadmap to develop and maintain a good communication. Importantly, resilience develops when the focus is on the communication process rather than examining individuals or entities to refrain from the unnecessary and unwarranted assumptions.
You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.
Resilience depends on confidence and optimism. People do not all react the same way or every situation is dire, still a resilient communication helps to keep things in perspective. The capacity to be realistic, maintaining a positive outlook and developing a narrative to cope with the unwanted situation is called resilience. We should all remember that resilience is an obligation not only to self but to community at large.
Featured Image by: GERRY ELLIS, MINDEN PICTURES – National Geography
Framing the attributes of your brand to appeal to different audiences is tricky. Since to clarify a complex concept intelligently and to craft a message that is concise and renders an unchallenging perception in the mind of the recipient is a delicate process. Simplifying your brand identity fused with your brand personality and expanding on the narrative for the most significant impact can take various forms. The logo, tagline, Ad slogan, video Ad…, play an instrumental part to gain distinction. That being so, crafting a straightforward message to understand and compelling to remember is not enough. You should breathe life into your statement.
At first, let’s look at the fundamental elements of constructing a brand message:
Clarity: What you do; what are your key benefits
Underline notable brand feature
Supports your unique value
Once the statement is developed, infuse informative, desirable and plausible storylines to expand on your promise. For instance Royal Bank of Canada’s advertising campaign called “Someday” portrays the financial institution as the perfect partner that can support our aspirations. The initiation underlined the achievements and disappointments of Canadians in pursuit of their goals and dreams. The campaign touched on “Making someday happen in the community,” the “RBC Home Someday Contest,” (a chance to win $ 25,000 to renovate by submitting a self-made video of your request), to producing television and social media commercials. Progressively, the campaign evolved into more emotive and documentary style to support their position.
Also, their recent campaign “RBC Future Launch” supports their brand position to empower Canadian youth for future jobs. The significant investment in this social cause is to inquire about the issues and create solutions by engaging public and private sectors to prepare youth for the future of work. Again a powerful connection to their brand message, promise, and position that provokes action.
Stories are how we connect with each other. Expanding on your brand message with convincing and credible narratives, raises the energy of your brand and transforms words to dynamic experience.
Jen Mann is a Canadian artist who explores how relationships form and develop. She delves into “self “concept, the realization of being a separate entity and how our shared experiences whether in the form of harmony or conflict, condition our ways of life.
Her compositions manifest the prevalent social trends in digital narratives with incredible hues. The unnatural colours that embody her work relate to her storylines and formulate into strong emotions.
She tackles the existential questions by taking a satirical, intellectual and honest approach to our conventional values.
The concept of real or constructed self identity is portrayed in her creations to make us aware of our cultural attitude towards individualism. She is her own muse and captures her identity in different conditions by being conscious of her interrelationships with self, others and her environment.
Personal or corporate brand storytelling is about being remembered, motivating favourable action, engaging investors or changing perceptions. Simply, communicating your vision through a story allows your audience to be inspired, gain clarity and act with focus. For instance, in an investor relations meeting, by adapting your strategy to a story, you get rid of the complexity of the data which investors can surely find from other sources or lose focus during a presentation. The same applies in personal branding. Your audience will be motivated to engage and support your goal merely because you have made an impression and they will remember you. In whatever capacity, your brand story should remove inconsistency and unreliability.
Message/story: Be wary of the decisive factors in particular the order of your narrative, predisposed outlook of your audience, the appeal and whether the account is clear vs suggested. Recognize the emotions of your audience so that you can organize the flow of your story. For instance in an hostile environment, an impartial approach by giving both sides of the issue encourages active listening. Or, if your goal is to change opinion, painting a rosy & speculative picture is boring and slanted. Yet, introducing antagonists specially dark emotions such as fear to more promising sentiments such as hope and compassion gets people behind you.
You:Your audience will start processing your message in view of the fact that you are knowledgeable, trustworthy, likable such as being a good listener or having a good sense of humour, your poise & neat appearance. Observance of these elements kindles change of perception. Be an expert, know your facts and avoid sluggish tempo when you talk.
Audience:Learn about their primary stance, explore whether they are motivated to accept, their intellectual capacity, their disposition and how much they feel confident about their capabilities. Providing that you are aiming to start an acceptance process and bring about action. People are more inclined to persuasion when the message is clear and intelligibly simple.
In order to stand out from the crowd, form an identity that helps your audience see your differentiation & your accurate point of view. For the most part, zoom in on the future, be clear as what lies ahead and describe your vision. Just like in stock market, people invest in future rather than in the past.
How to run an effective awareness campaign? Regardless of the industry, your message whether rewarding or penalizing is to motivate your audience. The overarching goal of your communication strategy from achieving a social mission to other ends of the spectrum increasing investor’s wealth depends on your narrative.
From Prehistoric caveman to present day, we all need to connect, entertain or educate through storytelling. True, the means to disseminate stories have evolved and we have many options to connect with our audience, thanks to technology advances. However, the essential element of your story is to bind your vision to the expectations, emotions or aspirations of your listeners.
Here are 5 tactics to incorporate into your storytelling initiatives:
Clearly define the problem, the resolution and recognize the style suitable to unify the audience’s mind. Whether you are gushing hope or change, meaningful and authoritative communication will mobilize support.
Convey your story in a non-linear way to prevent passive consumption. By creating a coordinated multi-media narrative, you nudge your audience to share enthusiastically. Tying up your content across multiple platforms reinforces your message and the story takes a life of its own.
Repetition is effective because that it sways attitudes and fuels engagement. Delivering key messages in different context and multiple times, granted, will be received, will become familiar and gain traction.
Show people the roadmap or specify a timeline whether to prompt a one time action or spur a change in sentiment/preference.
Create a conceivable image and allow the audience to experience and exceed their expectations instead of introducing a Utopia leading to disappointment.
The manner you communicate your story is of the utmost importance. Creating a powerful narrative by producing a video, use of imagery combined with music amplifies key messages, persuades and makes it memorable to your consumers.