What’s with the Baby Buddha? (What’s Reiki got to do with marketing)


Meeting a friend for coffee at lunch time, and feeling tired and frustrated from a morning spent dealing with technical and practical hiccups, the conversation seemed to suddenly become fiery when we touched on the subject of ‘branding’. What’s branding got to do with Reiki, you may wonder? Bear with me.

I had only just finished developing a strong new brand identity for ‘Complete Health Borders’, the wellness centre in the Central Borders that is home to my Simply Jikiden Treatment and Training Centre in Galashiels.

Complete Health BordersThe Maori concept of ‘koru’, the unfurling fern, seems to me the perfect embodiment for Complete Health Borders’ vision and aspiration: to offer a (near) complete range of tools and methods for unfolding personal potential: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual (if that’s what you want). A truly holistic approach to health.

At the risk of being immodest; I LOVE the visual identity that our designer has developed for us from the spark provided by my idea (the ‘koru’ representing unfolding health and the expression of life). My friend confirmed that even though not everyone may instantly pick up on the full depth of the concept, its essence: harmony with nature, unexpressed potential ready to spring to life, energy and vitality instantly communicate on a gut level. That’s what you want from a brand, and having a taste for the elegance of simplicity, I expressed a slight feeling of jealousy (as I’ve developed the koru brand identity for someone else’s business, although the day-to-day running is my job).

When I first found my vocation in life; Reiki practice, I didn’t have a clue about either marketing or business. In fact both were alien to me, as I would never want to sell anything that I didn’t truly believe in, and I have never been motivated primarily by money. It took the realisation that I can only express my purpose and contribute my gift, if I can also feed my family, to prompt me to brush up on those particular skills.  How fortunate then that I do truly appreciate the value of Jikiden Reiki.

“No need to feel jealous”, my friend says. “Your Buddha is an amazing brand ambassador, it’s so solid (made of stone), yet gentle and radiating peace. Also humorous and a bit quirky.” Now, that dear friend, made my day! If ‘brand’ is the visual signifier of an essence, of embodied values and aspiration, then my Baby Buddha IS perfect for SimplyJikiden:

blogbuddhaThere’s nothing ‘fluffy’ in Jikiden Reiki, it’s solid, practical, down-to-earth and backed up by experience and deep roots: rock solid. My friend comments that I don’t talk much about the spiritual nature of Reiki practice. That’s because I don’t need to: a sense of peace and spirituality embodied in every-day life is its very nature. Compassion in action.

(The humorous bit, that’s a part that my students and clients sometimes appreciate about me, and the quirky, well, I’ve always felt like a bit of  a one-off-kind-of-animal: I’ll choose to take it as a compliment).

Postscript:

My friend and I made an agreement that we would both blog from the moments of inspiration that we struck in our conversation. My blog post was to tell the story of the Baby Buddha, and how the image came to me.  As that part of the deal remains to be delivered, keep your eyes peeled for part 2!

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