I’m a strange combination of left and right. Yin and yang, one might say in certain circles. I am a marketing strategist, an entrepreneur, and a lover of data-driven business initiatives.
I am also a creative, a wordsmith, and a yogi on a spiritual journey. How the two areas of my psyche coexist is often a mystery to those who know most about my personality. (I am also a long-time colleague and super fan of Jackie Awve, founder of Awve Marketing – hence the appearance of this guest blog post.) But to my story…
The cross-section of my superpowers, i.e. MBA meets meditation, aren’t all that unique. Many entrepreneurs are touting the compliments that the mindfulness path can offer to business strategy.
From Tim Ferris to Seth Godin to the uber-popular entrepreneurial thought leader, Gary Vee, these concepts are being proliferated as tools to win in business and life. What I’d like to drill down on at this very moment is how the principles of yoga and the yogic path can be applied to branding strategy.
So, let’s get into a comfortable seated pose, and let’s explore the ways you use yoga ideals to elevate your brand, shall we?
Self-realization – Even if you are attending a yoga class due to tight hamstrings, an inescapable thing eventually happens when you practice yoga. You begin to quiet the mind, mute the thoughts and turn your attention inward. As a yogi, you start to find a deeper level of understanding of who you are (the self-realization piece). As business leaders, we are driven by numbers, results, profit margins and tangible things that offer growth pathways, make investors happy, and keep the lights on. This competes with the idea of slowing down and taking an introspective stance, so much so that we often bypass this step altogether. The thing we do when we face off with ourselves on our yoga mats is an important first step to mastering brand strategy as well.
Here’s why. You have to truly understand who you are as a company and where you stand in your unique marketplace before you can move forward with any strategy, brand-related or otherwise.
It’s even more essential to your brand strategy to have a deep understanding of your business’s nature and essence which can lead to the elusive authenticity that your audience base craves.
Breathing & Flowing – The foundation of a good yoga practice is the breath. Prana is a Sanskrit word that is often equated with breath. It’s more than just breathing.
Prana refers to the life force that lies within each of us. It can be tapped into through breathwork but it’s bigger than just the breath alone. It’s an energy that lives inside of us that ebbs and flows, rises and lowers, and moves with us through our existence, whether we tune in or not.
Your brand in this analogy has prana of its own too. It’s a living, breathing life force that needs to be allowed to flow through your marketplace, consumer demands, your internal culture, and your growth patterns as a business.
As you flow with the prana of your brand, you begin to support its strengths, improve upon its weaknesses and move the pulse of your marketplace – always staying true to yourself and relevant to your audience.
Ego – I used to work in tech startups, just the ones you might recall from HBO’s hit series, Silicon Valley. It would unnerve my marketing (and yogi) sensibilities when I would hear high-level decision makers strive to hit vanity metrics.
Metrics they intellectually knew were bullshit (sorry Jackie Awve, I forgot to ask – is cursing allowed on your blog?), but ones that they were willing to use to woo investors. Even outside of the zany world of startups, leaders often let their egos at worst cloud judgement, or at best, become the filters with which they see their brand strategy.
Once we as business leaders let go of what we “think” we are or should be, we begin to see things more clearly, accurately, and effectively. We begin to create a true brand, just as once the yogi releases pieces of the ego, he or she accesses a truer version of who they really are.
The owner of this blog and brand evangelist, Jackie Awve, often tells her clients, “There’s a difference between the mechanics of marketing and brand strategy.” In fact, she’s written an entire blog on the subject. I highly recommend you check out – here.
As you apply these inward facing yogic principles to your brand, you are working on strategy, not so much mechanics and execution. Without the branding strategy, it’s almost like skipping straight to the downward dog and ignoring the deeper philosophical meaning of the yogic lifestyle. Now, do you see where this entrepreneur, MBA, creative, copywriter, strategist, and yoga teacher is coming from?
Oh and if you’d like more info about creating a complete branding strategy,
Awve Marketing is your best bet!
Ready to talk about your brand?
Zoom with Jackie over lunch every Friday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. for a Marketing Jam Session! Please RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our guest blogger is Jennifer Gannon, a yoga teacher, a writer, author coach, and a content strategist. She combines all these talents to help people create their stories, brand voices and content to support business goals. You can learn more about her at thecontentworkshop.com or popupyogaclass.com.