This morning I was cruising through my Facebook feed and saw this:
A chocolate chip cookie grilled cheese…courtesy of HuffPo
Ever hear the term cognitive dissonance? Yea…that was me…love chocolate chip cookies, love cheese…together…no.
cognitive dissonance: psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously
Psychologist Leon Festinger proposed that the mind (little minx that it is!) desires to maintain comfort and consistency about our beliefs; inconsistent beliefs lead to disharmony and discomfort.
In other words it drives the mind batsh*t crazy to hold opposing beliefs. It causes internal struggle and confusion. It’s misalignment.
Without getting bogged down in theory, here are a few examples:
You know smoking is bad for you (1st thought), but you continue to smoke with thoughts like, “I’m healthy so far” (2nd opposing thought)
You want to be environmentally responsible (1st thought), but drive a gas guzzler (2nd opposing thought)
You want to lose weight (1st thought), but continue to eat unhealthy food (2nd opposing thought)
You outwardly agree with someone (1st thought), but inside you are thinking “this dude is an idiot” (2nd opposing thought)
Take this same theory and apply it to your brand=Brand Dissonance
You are a communication specialist and it takes days, weeks (or never) for you to get back to clients
You are a website designer and links on your site don’t work
You are a business coach and your finances are a mess
You value freedom + autonomy, but you constantly feel like a slave to your business
You are projecting a persona online that doesn’t match up with who you are in person (perfect life syndrome)
and on and on…
I feel like a commercial when I say “Brand dissonance is real and it’s a problem for solopreneurs + entrepreneurs everywhere!”
So how do you counter Brand Dissonance?
Reduce the gap between the 2 conflicting areas. So, if you design websites and yours is less than stellar, go over it with a fine tooth comb and fix links, update where necessary, and start closing the gap.
Reexamine your highest values and decide if they are still relevant.
Change the conflicting belief or brand behavior that is causing the dissonance.
Get another set of eyeballs on what is going on with your brand. Having someone else help you spot discrepancies and incongruence is vital; many times you don’t even know Brand Dissonance is going on!
Want to learn more developing a Brand that is aligned, congruent, and resonant?
I invite you to join me next week for my upcoming webinar: Born to Brand-How to Rock Your Quirks and Discover Your Kickass Brand
See you then 🙂