What you see, is not always what you get

Once the tiger picked up the intruder’s scent, it bared its teeth and emitted a deep growl. Without speaking, it conveyed a succinct message: “I’m warning you. Now, get out of my territory before I tear you to bits.” The other male tiger did not think twice before turning on his heel and making off as fast as he could through the snow. Feeling pleased with himself, the first tiger roared and paced slowly towards the perimeter of his territory to assure himself that the intruder was well out of sight and therefore, no longer posed a threat.

The little kitten was jolted out of his daydream by his human father calling out to him. He responded immediately by jumping out of the lounge room window sill and scampering off to the kitchen where he knew his dinner would be waiting for him. While he ate as if he was tearing chunks of flesh from a freshly killed prey, he recalled what he had been dreaming about. It was not the first time that he had envisioned himself as a Siberian tiger on the Kamchatka peninsula, but it still puzzled him as to where these dreams came from. He attributed them to primal instincts that made their way to the surface now and then. For, deep down, he felt there was something of a tiger in him.

Meanwhile, in a different part of the world, Ken dived into the pool and surfaced at the other end, right in front of two pretty girls he had been eyeing up the moment they arrived. He made sure to take his time climbing out of the pool to show off his abs. Judging from the way they giggled when he got out and strutted past them, he assumed they were impressed.

However, mere seconds later, doubt set in and it did not take long before he started regretting his behaviour. Why didn’t I just walk up to them and start a conversation, he wondered. Deep down, he knew the answer. His male role models had been men who overcompensated their insecurity and lack of self-esteem with tough guy show-off behaviour. So far, adopting their example had led to friction and further detachment from who he truly was – a sensitive, intelligent and kind-hearted young man.

There are lots of Kens around. In fact, the way I see it, there is something of a Ken in all of us. It is the anxious gorilla that beats its chest long before it senses danger. Let me give you some examples in business that I come across regularly. Ken is the company that brags on its website that it is the best in its field of expertise without explaining why, and masks its inferiority complex by showing off the logos of its clients.

Another example is the people who attempt to baffle you with an academic writing style that involves lengthy sentences filled to the brim with complicated words. They do not tune into the people they wish to communicate with and end up distancing themselves and losing their audience’s attention. An example of my own overcompensation is being over eager, in order to convince clients of what I am capable of. By doing so, I achieve the exact opposite..

Anyway, you have probably got the picture by now. Here is my take on how to present yourself or your organization in a natural and authentic way, just like the tiger at the beginning of this story. All you need to do is take a look at yourself in the mirror, metaphorically speaking that is. Ask yourself what characterizes you. What are your talents and finer qualities? And how do you provide value? You can also ask your clients or other people who know you well, both outside of work and in business.

Once you have established what makes you unique, you need to take some time to appreciate this. Feel the gratitude for who you are with all of your characteristics. Because, this is what branding is about. It is not about an image that you take on because you believe that is what is expected of you. It is about your identity and by expressing your identity, your clients and other business contacts will actually get what they see.

Need help? Contact me ;-))

Do you need help with the definition of your brand? With your copywriting or with your communication in general? Contact me for a heart-to-heart and we can get to know each other properly before I help you to communicate effortlessly and effectively with your audience. Oh, and no worries, I won’t bite.

Telephone/WhatsApp: +31 (0)6 245 44 691

Email: email@wimbeunderman.com


‘Tiger’ by Pixel-mixer on Pixabay
‘Cat’ by Guvo59 on Pixabay
‘Swimming Pool’ by StockSnap on Pixabay
‘Gorilla’ by Maminounou on Pixabay
‘Cat’ by Kadres on Pixabay
‘WB April 2023’


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