Polish your brand vision through Zen-like positioning methods
Buddhism and marketing. One proposes that you should know your mind and eliminate desire to live a good life. The other creates and shapes desire to promote products, services, and ideas.
At first blush, Buddhism and marketing seem like opposing forces. How could you possibly apply both mindsets to your brand when they advocate for and against desire?
However, they are not opposites. Both Buddhism and marketing carry a similar message of knowing oneself in order to help others (“helping” can mean ending worldwide suffering and/or offering your product to a customer in need).
In marketing, knowing yourself equates to positioning, the key to brand recognition success.
Find out how you can further explore your brand and develop your brand position using Zen philosophy.
What is brand positioning?
Before we explore new ways to consider your brand, let’s start with the basics.
Brand positioning is defined by HubSpot as the strategy used to set your brand apart from the rest in the minds of your customers.
According to the authors of Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, positioning is not what you do to a product. Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect.
It takes more than a logo or mission statement to position your brand to your customers. Counterpart simplifies the process of brand positioning with Position X®.
Position X helps you arrive at your most effective value proposition. It’s based on the belief that your most compelling position in the marketplace is one that’s believable, ownable, desirable, and supportable. This methodology has been applied, tested, and improved for more than 20 years.
You can Google and find plenty of models. But many don’t ask you to take into account existing market perceptions.
Which means you can get everything else right, and still end up with a message that isn’t believable. What good is that?
No matter what model you use, you still have to get the words right.
Differentiate your brand by positioning it in a way that benefits your business. It’ll improve customer recognition and recall, increasing your chances for a sale.
Why Zen is the ideal medium to rehabilitate your message strategy
Nowadays, Zen seems to be everywhere. You can find the secularized Buddhist philosophy in meditation apps on our phones to nature retreats around the world.
The main message? Relax, loosen up, and open your mind to the possibilities.
Credit source: giphy.com
If people can apply Zen techniques to personal development, family life, creativity, and executive-level business relationships, then why not try it on your marketing strategy?
Consider Zen as a vehicle to guide you through offbeat thinking pathways. Making new connections and looking at your brand through different perspectives is powerful. You can discover new branding tactics and home in on your message strategy.
For example, take the Buddhist principle of nonduality. Nonduality says that nothing is separate, and everything is intertwined. There is no difference between you, your employees, your products, or your branding; all should align and reflect the same message.
Another important tenet of Buddhism that relates directly to brand positioning is empty mind. Emptiness is thought to be the distinction between delusion and seeing things as they really are.
To practice these Buddhist ideas in a marketing context, see how your brand is perceived versus how it is in reality. Talk to customers, salespeople, stakeholders, and others to get insight. And make sure that your employees understand how to properly present your brand as they work.
Deliberate marketing of your brand will make a difference in how your customers perceive you. And perhaps they will even remember you for it.
Sayings from the Buddha
You don’t have to take my word for it; hear marketing wisdom directly from the big boss: Siddhartha Gautama, AKA the Buddha.
You must encapsulate your message strategy fully.
What you (and your employees and customers) think about your brand is what your brand becomes.
Put brand positioning into action through your website, product, packaging, customer service, and everything else with intention. Otherwise, you are leaving your brand up to interpretation.
Are you branded the way you want to be today?
Reflect on your image in the past and see how it has led to the present. Where you started and how you got here are powerful reminders of your brand’s mission.
Then, take time to see what you are doing today. Look objectively to ensure it aligns with your message strategy in the future.
Popular Zen story
Buddhism is known for its anecdotes, passing centuries-old stories down from masters to students and laypeople.
This story about a man on a horse illuminates a common problem in the human experience.
A horse suddenly came galloping down the road. It seemed as though the man had somewhere important to go. Another man, who was standing alongside the road, shouted, “Where are you going?” and the man on the horse replied, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!”
This classic Zen story seems to say, be deliberate. Don’t get whisked away by circumstance.
How does this relate to brand positioning? It’s a lesson to take control of your brand.
Determine your positioning and implement it in every part of your business. Educate everyone in your company on the importance of positioning for clear understanding.
Templestay: An example of branding within Buddhism
For some meta-Buddhism-marketing food, read about Templestay, the Korean Buddhism cultural program. This company is a perfect example of intentional brand positioning to increase tourism of Buddhist temples.
Templestay positions itself as a path to spirituality for Westerners.
In its branding videos on YouTube and online marketing materials, it advocates for stepping away from corporate capitalism.
Westerners can relax in ancient, natural temples and “find” their “True Selves.” This appeals to Western notions of individuality, adventure, selfhood, and cultural rebellion.
Credit source: travelagewest.com
Templestay knows exactly what they are doing; they know their target audience.
Templestay considered Western values and modern-day struggles and appealed to them. They even strayed from traditional Buddhist teachings to connect with Westerners by promoting the idea of a “True Self.”
And the campaign was successful. Since Templestay opened in 2004, they increased foreigner visitation five times, proving the importance of positioning your brand for your customers.
Refine your brand positioning by thinking in new ways
Zen philosophy is one of many ways you can recolor your thoughts about marketing.
Read widely and deeply and encourage yourself to make new connections that inspire innovative thinking.
Use your new insight to revitalize your current branding tactics to align with your mission.
With the right mindset, you can learn lessons from nearly any topic to enhance your message strategy, no matter how different they may seem.
If you’re stuck, get in touch with Counterpart to develop your message strategy with the experts. We’re here to help.
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