Think about the word, Mindful. What does it mean to you?
Chances are, particularly if you work in the behavioral or mental health field, you are mindful, and you practice therapeutic mindfulness. As Oxford secondarily defines mindfulness: “A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations…”
More often than not, this is the active definition. At almost every behavioral health, mental health, and addiction treatment trade show we attend, mindfulness is practiced – be it through morning meditations, yoga, or even golf outings.
I love taking part in these therapeutic sessions, but my practice of mindfulness takes on a slightly different form at these events. I am much more likely to apply Oxford’s more simplistic definition: “The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.”
It’s the market researcher in me.
Over the past decade, I have been hard wired to notice things. To pay attention, whether it be patterns in numbers or themes in conversations. This can only occur if I’m practicing mindfulness. I have to be present, conscious, and aware. If I am, I can find gold.
It’s a bit of a habit at designRoom. Kelly recently published a blog about what she’s been hearing at trade shows. These trends are invaluable — they’re gold. She could see them because she’s present, aware, and mindful.
In principle, the idea seems simple. After all, it’s been drilled into our heads since we were children – being told to ‘mind your Ps and Qs’; ‘be mindful of others’; ‘mind your manners’; etc.
In practice, midfullness principles often fall by the wayside.
It’s amazing how often I see and hear marketers focus solely on tactical decisions – ‘Should we redo our website?’; ‘Is a bi-fold or a tri-fold brochure more impactful?’; ‘What ad words should we purchase?’. They forget to pause, take a step back, and be mindful of the bigger picture, the vision of the brand — what it stands for, who it speaks to, its future, and how all of its facets are connected.
This isn’t uncommon. Tactics are tasks that can be accomplished and pointed at. Mindfulness as it applies to brand is a bit more slippery. In research, there is a term for being overwhelmed by mass amounts of data: it is called data paralysis. Making and marketing a brand is stunningly multi-faceted. We even say, “branding is everything.” It is easy to become overloaded and overwhelmed with details. But if you’re able to be present, conscious, and aware of the bigger picture, you can find gold.
So, continue to meditate, do yoga, practice therapeutic mindfulness. And be mindful of your overall brand and how it behaves in all marketing efforts. When everything fits and works together, it’s peaceful.
- Of who you are and why you exist
- Of what makes you different
- Of who you’re talking to
- Of what you’re saying
- Of what’s being said
- Of where you are today
- Of where you want to go
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