1 min read

On Brands & Buddhism

As a brand consultant surrounded by monasteries, prayer flags and the like, I wish brands were a bit, you know, Buddhist.

No, nobody's saying accept the Four Noble Truths, follow the Five Precepts and get on that Eightfold Path.

Better instead to ask a few questions—

—Would you say your brand is thoughtful—in word and deed?

—Does it treat its workers well?

—Does it accept the consequences of its choices?

—Does it understand its role—and how much power it may wield—in the world and in our minds?

—Does it behave accordingly?

I'm yet to come across a better set of "brand values" than the faith's essential virtues (wisdom, kindness, patience, generosity, compassion).

I wonder how many businesses (could) practice it.

With the rise of B Corps, ESG, responsible investing and ethical enterprises, maybe brands are on their way to "enlightenment".

We'll see.

Meantime, perhaps best to start with a humbling, Buddhaesque take from Mark Ritson, Bob Hoffman et al.—

You are not your customer.

A little Buddhism never hurts.

And since the Buddha was, amongst other things, a practical being, it might even boost that bottom line.

"…he (the Dalai Lama) thinks of the Buddha as a scientist, whose main aim is to show us reality, objectively, empirically, precisely."

—Pico Iyer