This back-to-school Old Navy television commercial caught my attention, but not because of Jason Priestly and Garbrielle Carteris of Beverly Hills 90210. What caught my attention was the little red-headed girl who feels left out and resentful as a “new” girl gains the positive attention of everybody in school.

Her on-target protestations throughout the Old Navy television commercial emphasize the “new” girl has been there since kindergarten. Old Navy makes the point that Old Navy made the familiar girl “new” with its back-to-school fashions.

Consistency vs. Intrigue - The Struggle for Positive Attention

If you’ve spent time in one place - with one group of people - the consistency of your personal brand and what you have done for so long (and by “so long,” I mean even a couple of months), can leave you feeling like you're lacking positive attention from those around you. In fact, I mentioned to someone last week my concern he’s not getting appropriate positive attention and is being overlooked because of the consistency of his contributions to an organization he supports.

Maybe it comes down to the typically cyclical relationship in business between “Consistency” and “Intrigue.” Or as my friend author Sally Hogshead would talk about it relative to a personal brand, it's a failure to Fascinate (affiliate link).

For the Consistent person, things are good when appreciation for:

Consistency > Intrigue

But when things flip? Then

Intrigue > Consistency

That’s when consistent people find what can be a positive personal brand attribute leaving them short on positive attention, just like the little girl in the Old Navy television commercial.

What creates the Intrigue phenomenon in organizations?

New consultants, new hires, new organization structures, new senior managers, new customers, new expectations - they can all be intriguing in an organization relative to what's always been there with consistency. Almost any “new” event upsets the old order, and it becomes very difficult for people displaying consistency as part of their personal brand to get the positive attention needed to make things happen. At least that's the case until the new wears off and consistency gets the upper hand again in this cyclical relationship struggle.

So if you’re the little girl in the ad (or my friend who is facing a similar personal brand situation), what can you do to not be overlooked as someone who displays consistency?

6 Ideas for Getting Attention When Your Personal Brand Highlights Consistency

Here are six ideas to consider if your reputation for consistency isn’t helping you beat the “intrigue” of whatever is new on the scene:

1. Freshen up your personal brand

Maybe you are in a rut, offering similar strategies, similar ideas, and similar implementation steps too often. That’s when it’s time to visit whatever looks like “Old Navy” in your world and freshen up your look to gain greater positive attention.

2. Play the Game Better

Develop a new advantage to heighten your level of intrigue. Create ways to engineer attention and favorable situations for what you’re trying to accomplish relative to whatever seems “new.”

3. Become a BFFN with whatever is “new”

The best approach may be to try and bask in the positive attention whatever is "new” is receiving. Become “Best Friends for Now” with the person who has a corner on Intrigue at the moment. Figure out their motivations and how to deliver what they (think they) need to be even better.

4. Stop being so dependable

Because you’re dependable, it’s easy to be taken for granted. Make your presence more apparent through making your absence felt. Stop being so dependable and let others feel the impact of you not being around as you always are.

5. Stay the Course

Continue your great work, step up your game, and wait for the new to wear off and intrigue to dissipate. If you go this route, though, you better be pretty sure you’ll come out okay on the other end of the Consistency– Intrigue cycle.

6. Be the New Person Someplace Else

There’s probably nothing that strong requiring you to stay where you are right now. Pick up and go elsewhere where you can be intriguing yourself because you are new to the situation.

What would you do to gain positive attention for consistency?

Have you found yourself in a situation resembling the Old Navy television commercial and losing positive attention because of your consistency? What have you done (or seen others do) to spice up an approach to recover positive attention for consistency?  – Mike Brown

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