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What's Behind Your BrandAuthor: 

Jen O’Ryan, PhD

Book Title: 

What’s Behind Your Brand?: A Style Guide for Humanizing Your Content

Publishing Information: 

PYP Academy Press, 2024

Link to Purchase Book:



Frustrated by the lack of style guides that discuss how to authentically represent humans?

I was. So I wrote one.

There is a seemingly endless supply of resources on grammatical rules, improving accessibility, and optimizing for various devices. But very few provide guidance on how, or more importantly why, to design for inclusion. This book dives into the nuance of avoiding issues like bias, inequities, erasure, appropriation, stigma, and stereotypes. How word choice + position, proportion, and placement of images can convey unintended meanings. Alternative options, practical examples, and the “why” behind the “how” are included throughout. The result is a resource for creating content that brings people in, without shutting others out. What’s Behind Your Brand? provides a unique perspective on how word choice and images can bring people in – or shut them out – of your brand’s message. Dr. Jen O’Ryan. She outlines ways to incorporate the human experience and remove barriers that detract from your message. Through humor, heartfelt anecdotes, and a deep understanding of human behavior, Jen breaks down the “why” behind the “how” and provides examples for practical application. What’s Behind Your Brand? covers:

  • Patterns across images and language (absences, bias, inequities, appropriation, stereotypes)
  • Unexpected places where bias and other barriers can hide
  • Common issues, alternatives, and how to avoid them in the first place
  • How position, proportion, and placement create unintended meanings
  • Strategies for navigating change, within your organization and within yourself

Author Bio: 

Dr. Jen O’Ryan specializes in Inclusion, Diversity, Belonging, and Representation. She works with business leaders to remove bias, stereotypes, inequities, stigma, appropriation, and similar issues from their messaging, content, and experiences. Jen combines a PhD in Human Behavior with 15 years of leading organizational change, designing new experiences for customers, and transforming enterprise-wide workflows. Learn more about working with Jen at

Book Testimonials: 

“A must read for any business, brand, or individual who speaks to humans in the year 2024, What’s Behind Your Brand? is both a 101-guide and a comprehensive deep dive into how to create content that not only sells, but sells in a way that actually works for the world we are living in. As Chief Brand Strategist for a 7-figure company, I will continue to recommend this book to both my team and my clients.” Michelle Garside, Chief Strategist + Founder, Soul Camp Creative

“This book lays out all of the opportunities we have to build workplace cultures of belonging through our language—one of the most powerful but underutilized tools we have. In this dynamic business environment, I rely on Jen’s extensive knowledge and grasp of nuances. Details which can, in these times of great scrutiny for brands, make or break an organization’s credibility and reputation.” —Jennifer Brown, Bestselling Author of How to Be an Inclusive Leader

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