Quick to act, quick to respond. With this Pandemic still looming, it is putting the entire world into a halt and making all business plans, objectives, and trend reports for 2020 obsolete. As a business owner and SHEeo, the situation has called for extra measures with pivotal and agile moves for my businesses to keep the momentum.
While some may have realigned all their business plans and objectives, recalibrated their strategies, and overhauled their entire business structures, here I am approaching the crisis with a business “unusual” attitude having with me a sound solution that could make all types of businesses stay relevant, essentials or non-essentials alike.
Mindfulness defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something” is a solution we can take note from various spiritual health and mind healing communities. It can be cultivated through continuous meditation, constant yoga practice, or even just through achieving flow. In the book Tribe of Mentors written by Tim Ferris, those who regularly practice meditation have seen better introspection, a sense of fulfillment, sharpened focus, and improved problem-solving skills.
Celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Jimmy Fallon are one of the few who mastered mindfulness, saying that it’s the most sound self-investment yet. According to Headspace, there exists a 15-item questionnaire researchers use to measure mindfulness called the Mindful Attention Awareness Score (MAAS). Of course, the higher the score, the greater your ability to be mindful. Truly, it requires certain deep thinking to cultivate mindfulness.
I have SHEeos asking me how can this way of thinking even be applied to their businesses? It seems like mindfulness, which is the most self-sufficient and sustainable business solution of all, has been greatly undervalued, especially in marketing and selling our goods and services. Questions like, “Is this the right time to be marketing my products?” “Would I be labeled as insensitive?” “Would I even make a sale if I sell my products during these trying times?” have proven all the uncertainty. However, the answer will always be yes. There is no right time to market and sell products but now. As long as you’ve established who you are, what you offer, and for whom you are selling the goods and services.
Enter Mindful Marketing — a technique achieved by focusing our solutions to the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting both our consumers’ and our strengths, feelings, thoughts, and values. It’s combining our ability to adapt and at the same time respond to our consumer needs all the while working on what uniqueness we have to offer. It has been done quite a few times, there are independent businesses who mastered the art of mindfulness and applied it strategically to their integrated marketing communication plans.
Take it from Glossier, a digital- first direct to consumer company founded by Emily Weiss, which began creating essential health and beauty products to their customers by simply involving them in casual conversations. Their fitness apparel counterpart, Outdoor Voices founded by Tyler Haney, has applied the same technique by designing all their products with their consumers involved in the rigorous process, from product development down to the selling of the products. Both businesses have continued their operations despite the Pandemic.
At the beginning of the lockdown, many of my SHEeos have communicated their concerns towards the COVID-19 crisis. Some of them have been forced to stop operations and others have put their product launches into a halt. Honestly, it’s quite tempting to do the same thing, but deciding not to stop has proven to be good for my business. It took a lot of guided meditations, introspections, and self-reflections to arrive at a decision. I was conscious of thinking about what I can do and how my audience would respond.
I began looking from within and to understand clearly what needs to be done. Because at the end of the day, we all want to have high selling goods and services. We can ride the waves of trends to stay relevant, however, let us not forget that the key to a successful brand lies in the genuine human connections nurtured. And these connections are only cultivated if we communicate the truth, be intentional, and have positive emotional activators to create meaningful brand-consumer relationships.
Today, I’m sharing the five steps I did to pivot and continue my operations. These are five effective ways to apply Mindful Marketing to your plans and effectively communicate your brand to your target market.
Take an inventory count of what you have to offer. Do an inventory check. Not just on your stock count but also of your strengths, skills, and self values as a business owner. The key here is to figure out what we can maximize, and use it all to our advantage. This will also empower you in knowing that you are more than capable to take on any challenges you face.
Identify the current and pressing challenges. Once your inventory is all accounted for, now it’s time to figure out what challenges we might face. The Eisenhower Matrix has proven to be the best tool for this by identifying what needs solving now, then tomorrow, then the future. With this you will learn how to prioritize by working on the problems at hand first before anything else.
With your audience in mind, provide conscious solutions, and create within your means. We now begin creating solutions to the challenges, and knowing what you have gives you a sense of clarity and purpose. Let your audience guide you through. Be mindful of their current state and keep an eye on them. Most of the time we always think that what we have is never enough. As Marissa Meyer said, “Creativity thrives best when constrained.”
Focus on one direct intentional message and be consistent about it. Do a self-check by asking these questions: What is your true purpose? What is the essence of the brand? Often we tend to create products with big profits as the center of it all. But what about our purpose and intentions in doing so? Of course, it’s equally important to communicate our intentions to our audiences to nurture that bond and human connection.
Just be honest, transparent, and authentic. We all have a soft spot for honesty, so why not just be real and communicate what your brand truly is? Again, humans crave for raw and relatable emotions. There’s nothing wrong with being vulnerable to our audience, especially when you’ve established that connection. The best advice is to just stay true to who you are, and you will attract the right people to support your brand whenever and wherever you are in this world.