Power Brand or Power Failure: Is Your Other Half Dragging Your Personal Brand Down?

Power brand or power failure: is your other half dragging your personal brand down?

Barack and Michelle Obama power couple

Nowadays, we often think of couples in the public eye as #PowerBrands: think Barack and Michelle Obama, Posh and Becks, Kate and Wills, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, George and Amal Clooney. We’ve also seen aspiring leaders coupled alongside their husbands and wives in the recent campaign. You may or may not have been incensed by the critical examination of the leaders’ wives but, like it or not, it’s an illustration of how much impact our partners can influence the way others see us.

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds power couple

In harmony, and working towards the same goals, we come over as power brands. But when that’s not happening, it’s a totally different story. “We’ve all come across the colleague with the questionable partner, whether they can’t hold their drink, dress inappropriately or just subtly don’t fit in,” says psychologist and personal brand consultant Dr Lisa Orban of www.goldennotebook.co.uk“and their choice of partner can certainly impact our impression of them.”

If you’re wondering if your partner may be undermining your own personal brand, Lisa suggests that you ask yourself the following questions:

Does your partner enable you to shine?

Is your partner happy for you to make new connections, and attend networking events, functions or conferences that may help you and your brand develop, or do they typically complain about leaving them alone or even get jealous of you meeting new people? Do they let you speak your mind and express the real ‘you’ when you are out together or do you hold your tongue to avoid critical comment or even an argument later?

Do you find that an evening with them leaves you feeling a bit deflated, while you always have a better time with your friends?

Do they need continuous reassurance, or make you feel guilty for wanting more than just to be with them?

Lisa reminds us that a quiet and supportive partner can contribute as much to a power brand as an openly extrovert and ambitious one. It is when their behaviour holds you back that problems begin. If you’ve noticed that your partner may do some of the above, she suggests you can do one of the following things…

First, collect data. Instead of making a decision like this on a whim, observe how you work together over time.

Stay and change what you can. While building acceptance around the rest. But do realise that can be very hard to change someone else.

Leave the relationship. The most dramatic of the options but if you’ve been thinking this for a while this may just confirm what you’ve been feeling all along.

Do nothing. But the likelihood is that you’ll get frustrated and the situation will deteriorate.

Go solo. Focus on developing your own personal brand as opposed to co-branding with your partner. Go to functions on your own and keep your work and home life separate. This works for a lot of people!

Finally, Dr Orban tells us that you need to take a look at your own behaviour too, just to check if you yourself are dragging your partner down!

Bringing together her extensive training, experience and passion in both psychology and branding, Lisa Orban founded Golden Notebook. A chartered clinical psychologist, Lisa trained and practised in New York City for eleven years before relocating to London. Lisa helps clients make a name for themselves by discovering their distinct and authentic personal brand. She takes a unique approach to personal branding that combines psychological assessment and theory with branding strategies to create for powerful and enduring individual change and personal impact. 

Charlotte Giver

Charlotte is the founder and editor-in-chief at Your Coffee Break magazine. She studied English Literature at Fairfield University in Connecticut whilst taking evening classes in journalism at MediaBistro in NYC. She then pursued a BA degree in Public Relations at Bournemouth University in the UK. With a background working in the PR industry in Los Angeles, Barcelona and London, Charlotte then moved on to launching Your Coffee Break from the YCB HQ in London’s Covent Garden and has been running the online magazine for the past 10 years. She is a mother, an avid reader, runner and puts a bit too much effort into perfecting her morning brew.