Why Anger is Good for Your Brand

Liz DenneryI have always loved fashion. I started reading Vogue when I was 10 years old. I still get a natural high when I find the perfect pair of Gucci stilettos or Lanvin flats at 60% off.

I worked at Harper’s Bazaar while living in NYC in the ‘90s, ran my own fashion and lifestyle PR firm for more than a decade, and currently serve as a brand ambassador for Vogue… which makes my inner 10-year-old so incredibly happy.

But as I’ve gotten older (and hopefully wiser), I realize that a closet full of designer clothes and a feature in a glossy magazine don’t mean a damn thing if I haven’t spent my life creating something meaningful that will help others. All the pretty pictures and thousands of followers on Instagram won’t matter if a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body are taken away from her.

I watched in horror, along with millions of other people, on November 8, 2016, as a racist, misogynistic, bombastic white man with no real political experience took the Presidency from one of the most prepared, competent candidates in our history.

I cried and drowned my sorrow in a bottle of wine that night.

And then I got angry. Really angry.

Who were these people that voted for a reality TV star and self-proclaimed sexual predator? How could 54% of white women voters have been ok with this? How could so many people believe the lies that spew effortlessly from this man’s mouth?

I fumed over these questions. I took my anger and channeled it into the SheBrand blog, my social media platform, and other spaces where I can speak up and be heard. I tapped into my inner Gloria Steinem. I started writing blog posts like this one, this one and this one about the importance of women’s opinions, women’s voices and women’s rights.

Liz DenneryThis last year, anger has been fuel in my tank – powering me through each workday, sharpening my ideas, and giving me a renewed sense of conviction and purpose. Anger has helped me to clarify what SheBrand is really about – teaching women how to build compelling brands, yes, but even more importantly, helping women to become confident, strong, influential, and unafraid.

Some people feel that anger is a bad thing. But I disagree. Over the last year, I’ve been reminded that anger can be so energizing and motivating. Anger can illuminate what you really care about, what you refuse to accept any longer, and what you want to be known for. For all of these reasons, anger is very good for your brand.

Study what makes you angry. Is it poverty? Racism? The mistreatment of animals? When precious resources get wasted? Seeing people give up on their dreams? Watching people stare endlessly into their phones instead of making eye contact? Something else? What bothers you intensely?

Examine your anger. Embedded in your anger, you’ll discover your deepest values. And then, you can build a brand that expresses those values clearly.

Here’s an example of what I mean…

The team behind ModCloth feels angry that most clothing designers only use models with slender, lean physiques. They want to showcase all body types, which they do beautifully. They’ve stated publicly that they refuse to use Photoshop on any of their images. They value diversity, inclusivity, honesty, and transparency, and they always express these values consistently. This has helped them to build a distinctive brand with a loyal following. Over the last 10 years, this company has grown from $18,000 to $150 million each year. This is the power of connecting with your anger and expressing it.

So, don’t be afraid of your anger. Don’t push it aside or dismiss it. Pay attention when something upsets you or makes your blood boil. Ask yourself, “Why am I so upset? What is it about this situation/person/problem that bothers me so much?” Use your anger to discover your values, and let those values shine brightly.

When you do this, you’ll attract customers who share those same values. Customers who feel an emotional connection with your brand, who rave about you to their friends, who fall in love with your mission and want to be part of your tribe.

In a world that’s so disheartening and discouraging, anger provides so much clarity, and anger is the fuel we need to get big things done. And we certainly have a lot of work to do. So ladies…

Let’s get angry.