Rebranding–it’s not just for business anymore!

(Hi again! I’m excited to have a new website and a renewed dedication to writing an occasional blog! Please check out my website if you are interested and heads up that you can visit my Virtual “Office” right from the site.)

The concept of “rebranding” in marketing and business is well-known. The definition I find online is to:

“change the corporate image of (a company or organization)”

People spend billions of dollars researching what feelings, ideas, values they want people to associate with a company. They want their brand to resonate with their ideal customer and evolve in order to speak to changing cultures and subcultures. Dunkin’ Donuts is now Dunkin’–it’s faster, hipper (I suppose), and contemporary…

Rebranding is powerful. Through association with words, colors, images, names our feelings about a business change.

I think it’s actually a very helpful strategy to apply in our own lives. Self-image is our own particular sense of our own “brand.” We all have a self-image/brand in our own psyches and then an image/brand that we project outwards. We also have ideas about aspects of the world that, I’m suggesting, are branded. Aging, youth, introverts, extroverts, coolness, bigger versus smaller bodies: these are all concepts that carry all kinds of baggage (good and bad).

I want to suggest that we can have the power to reclaim and rebrand our own self-image if our current version isn’t working for us. And we can reclaim and rebrand concepts and experiences in a more positive way if society has fed us a negative brand with which we don’t agree.

For instance, I’m working on rebranding my own sense of what aging means to me. If I think about the words and images and emotions that I’ve been fed about aging I’d list:

  • wrinkles
  • falling slowly apart
  • depressing
  • out-dated
  • illness
  • uncool
  • obsolete in regards to beauty or sexuality

I haven’t listed these qualities before and in writing this post it’s clear that these are the aspects of the branding of aging that are inside my psyche. They are consciously and unconsciously connected with my sense of what aging means. They are in the background (and sometimes closer to the foreground) when I look in the mirror, notice an ache when I get out of bed in the morning, celebrate a birthday, or even write my age down on a doctor’s paperwork. They are a schema that arises and is attached to a slew of less-than-ideal feelings. And they can be changed.

I am consciously working to attach new images and words, sensations and emotions to the idea of aging for myself. I am rebranding aging in my own consciousness.

I am practicing remembering and knowing that aging can mean:

  • experience
  • giving less fucks
  • more character (including wrinkles and funky gray hair)
  • grace
  • being so lucky to be alive
  • strength
  • groundedness
  • wisdom

When I practice bringing in images and words like the ones right above I FEEL differently about aging. I feel differently about myself aging. I feel more empowered.

Practice this with a quality of yours with which you tend to have negative associations. Have fun with it. And let me know what happens! 🙂