How To Use Rebellion To Catapult Your Brand Forward

In today's globally connected corporate landscape, how we do business evolves at hyper speed, forcing entrepreneurs in every vertical to push past traditional operational standards. It's no longer enough to be first or best in the marketplace. Today's innovators must continuously redefine industry standards to not only gain the critical marketing momentum needed to get to the top, but to also avoid the dreaded crush of stagnation to ensure their brand stays there.

The best way to achieve both? Embrace the rebellion mindset. Rebels are fearless, curious, adaptive provocateurs who find opportunity in the midst of disruption that not only promotes and protects their brand now, but also future-proofs their business for whatever lies ahead. Here are five ways to tap into the power of rebellion to catapult your brand forward.

1) See What's Invisible

Author and 17th-century rebel, Jonathan Swift, once said; "Vision is the art of seeing what's invisible to others." His words are still relevant almost 300 years later. No, you don't need a crystal ball for seeing the invisible– you just need to zero in on what's happening within your business and extended industry. What are the current trends? Problems? Concerns? Look for connectivity between issues, interdependencies, and reinforcements. Identifying existing patterns will help give you the insight to predict next steps for success with your brand.

2) Believe In The Impossible (aka Don't Be Charles H. Duell)

In 1899, Charles H. Duell from the Office of Patents was accredited with making the bold statement; "Everything that can be invented has been invented.” Thankfully, history is full of rebels who simply refused to believe Mr. Duell. Rebels discern possibility, even in the midst of seeming impossibility. Go into every corporate situation believing it's not that it's never been done…it's just that it's never been done yet.

3) Approach Problems With "Can/If" Thinking

The quickest way to talk yourself out of believing in the impossible? Tell yourself all the reasons why it can't be done. The rebellion mindset eliminates the knee-jerk, reactionary, "We can't, because…" mantra. Rebels recognize that creative problem solving relies on keeping the conversation focused on movement toward a possible solution, unhindered by any potential barriers. Instead of "We Can't/Because," encourage and celebrate "We Can/If" as part of an optimistic, results-driven internal culture.

4) Be The Voice Of Dissent

Going against the herd is one of the best ways to set your brand apart from the competition. Rebels never resign themselves to status quo. Instead, they approach every endeavor by asking two compelling questions: "Why?" and "Why not?" Challenge the accepted norms, poke holes in preconceived notions, and play devil's advocate on purpose as often as you can. Get comfortable saying the things no one wants to hear. Not only will you be the voice for those unable (or unwilling) to speak for themselves, but it's also one of the best ways to innovate industry change that commands brand attention.

5) Strategically Break The Rules

You've analyzed, you've dreamed, you've brainstormed, you've balked …you're officially ready to engage. The fifth step in a cohesive plan of corporate rebellion is a calculated course of action where your brand strategically, intentionally, and unabashedly breaks the rules. Nike, Netflix, and Tesla are just a few prime examples of rebellious brands that decided it wasn't enough to take the road less traveled by – these organizations actually forged their own corporate path, with extraordinary results. Take inventory of the current "rules" and "musts" in your industry. Consider some of the existing conventions and the best ways to challenge them. Lead with your beliefs, slay the naysaying monsters, and proactively shake things up within your vertical to establish your brand as the front-running innovator everyone else is trying (unsuccessfully) to catch.


About Nicola Smith

Nicola Smith, founder of REBEL & REASON, creates customized, multi-media solutions that help companies cultivate, unleash, and (most importantly) celebrate their inner corporate rebel to command marketplace results. A rebel since birth, Nicola sees purpose-driven rebellion for what it is: the ultimate entrepreneurial superpower. A marketing innovator with 15+ years' experience working with Fortune 500 companies, Nicola partners with business owners to develop strategically rebellious practices that discern opportunity in the midst of disruption and convert passive audiences into engaged brand advocates.

REBEL & REASON helps executive leaders establish and develop effective business rebels for long-term brand success. Contact us today to learn more!