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  • Writer's pictureFleur Brown

Do the roar

We often resist giving others our crowd-pleasing act – to our detriment

There’s a famous scene in the Shrek movie where the once-fierce, now married and retired ogre— who has settled into fatherhood and domestic bliss with mixed emotions — is hassled by a boy at his kids’ birthday party to “do the roar.

Shrek tries explaining politely — (well, polite by ogre standards) that the roar is not part of who he is anymore. But everywhere he turns at the party, the boy is beside him, pleading “do the roar.”

Driven to rage by candy-fuelled, screaming toddlers, the demands of Mrs Shrek and his annoying friend Donkey who has just licked the lid off his kid’s birthday cake — Shrek eventually releases an ogre roar that blasts the happily-ever-after out of his kingdom of Far Far Away.

Frozen silent with awe — the party guests then break into stomping applause.

We all get frustrated about being boxed in by a particular role or profile, and it’s tempting to attempt to force change by breaking up dramatically with our past.

Commercially, it’s important to give our fans what they want, as well as what they know and expect, and then use that as a bridge to introducing new concepts. We usually need to earn our right to do or say new stuff.

Same point. There’s an old advertising adage about brands that … around the same time brand executives are thinking it’s time to throw out their old logo, the customer base is only just starting to recognise it.

It’s the same with personal brands.

The commercial value in what we do often arrives at the time when we have creatively, emotionally or intellectually moved on from that product, service or storyline.

When we go to see our favourite musician at a live concert, we go to hear some new music, but mostly to soak up the live experience of the stuff we already know and love. When an artist doesn’t play at least a few songs from their old album, we feel cheated.

My advice on transitioning from one subject matter expertise into another is to do it gradually; cross the bridge — don’t burn the bridge. (Read more on that here.)

In other words, value and build on the foundations of the topic that you built your credibility on. Just because you’re sick of it, doesn’t mean others are.

That moment Shrek lets out his old Ogre roar, sets him on a path to rediscover his authentic self. Sometimes, giving the crowd what it wants is not only important to the crowd, it’s good for us.

For more on developing your personal brand — my book The Business of Being YOU is available on Amazon and in all bookstores.

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