The Secret Behind Thriving Brands: “The Inside-Out Approach”

photo credit:  Amelia Soegijono Photography  | creative direction & styling by us

photo credit: Amelia Soegijono Photography | creative direction & styling by us

If you don’t know it already, here at Olea & Fig, we’re all about branding using the “inside-out” approach, unlike most business coaches and designers who focus on creating brands from “outside-in.” We believe that the “inside-out approach” is the answer to running a winning business fueled by your passion, and living a meaningful life you’ve been dreaming of.

Let’s first look at how most people are running their businesses today.

What Most People Do: The Outside-In Approach

Most businesses and marketers choose to use “The Outside-In Approach”.

  • Branding: They start the branding process by picking and choosing what the brand should look like depending on the latest trend or buzz. These businesses suffer from fear of missing out and are always playing catch-up. Their decisions are driven my fads, and they lack long-term, big picture and thoughtful strategies. Nothing feels certain to these businesses.

  • Marketing: They use marketing tactics that everyone else in their market is using, and try to get as much screen time as possible from people. They strive to be the guy that is slightly faster, slightly cheaper, slightly smaller… (Click here to read about why being “-er” isn’t an effective differentiation strategy now.) This competition-driven tactic is the reason why many small businesses suffer from constant fear, doubt and insecurity.

  • Selling: They try to be everywhere and offer lower prices than the competition. They are in a never-ending price war, and often make people feel sleazy.

What Smart & Intentional Businesses Do: The Inside-Out Approach

If you started your business out of passion or because of a particular personal experience that prompted you, chances are, you are your ideal customer in some way. It may be your past self, your current self, your future self, or the self you want to become. In one way or another, you are your target audience.

This is why telling YOUR personal story can be so powerful in building your brand around your business. The people you serve will be able to relate to your story. Because you and they are both your dream customers, your tribe, and part of the community you are building.

And because it was your passion or your personal experience that made you start your business, your business is so deeply connected to your why’s and all your unique experiences as an individual. 

  • Branding: And that's why your brand is so closely tied to your story. To grow and make the impact you want to make, you need to brand your business with a story that connects to your deepest self and tell people what problem and challenge you're here to solve for them in an emotional language that they can relate to.

  • Marketing: your business is a platform for you to make the changes you’re here to make, for your people. Use it with intention, meet people where they’re at, and multiply your impact. When you can draw from your passion, your inner desire, your deepest why’s, and tie them to your business and where you show up for marketing, you’ll own the powerful force that draws your people in and grow your tribe. You can harness the power of community and connection-based marketing.

  • Selling: Resort back to your abundant drive, energy, and passion when you’re talking about your business and sharing your vision. Think how you usually tell a friend about how great a movie or a new restaurant is. Then use that same authentic voice and channel the same energy when you share with people about the fantastic package, collection, products or services you’ve prepared for them. 


Apply this “inside-out approach” to every aspect of your business. Harness your inner genius and your unique personal experiences, run your business with intention, and show up with your heart everyday!