Being authentic—or, having an “authentic brand”—does not mean letting it all hang out.

Letting it all hang out is certainly one form of authenticity, but it’s not the only form.

By way of an analogy, being stark naked is not the only form of undress. Nudity is also undress. The difference is that nudity conveys a sense of artistry. It is purposeful and strategic. It focuses and emphasizes, engages the imagination, and heightens the emotional impact.

Being stark naked, on the other hand, is neither strategic nor controlled. It is clinical, absolute, and vulnerable. It is the extreme case.

You can be nude without being naked.

And when it comes to branding, you can be authentic without letting it all hang out.

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