Branding Nonduality

Who is doing a notable job of branding in the nonduality genre? Ken Wilber has a solid two-part brand: his name and the term “Integral.”

Recently Peter Fenner has been branding Radiant Mind very clearly with both a book and a course of the same name. “Peter Fenner”, the guy, is less of a brand than “Ken Wilber”, in my opinion.

Deepak Chopra is in Oprah territory with his branding.

Eckhart Tolle? He sells a lot of books, but how’s his branding? Is Eckhart himself as strong a brand as Oprah or Chopra? The “Now” was a budding brand, but has he followed through with it? Compare Tolle to Oprah and Chopra and you decide on the strength of his brand, or even what his brand is.

Dennis Waite is doing an excellent job of sticking to “Advaita” as his brand. His books have Advaita in the title. He is a moderator of the Advaitin email forum. His website is advaita.org.uk. He writes for other Advaita websites. Strong, smart branding. When you think of Advaita, you think of Dennis Waite (among others, of course).

A branding effort that has me puzzled is that of a new and beautiful website, 9choirs.com. It is truly a mainstream nonduality website. They have cool articles. But when you first land on the site, do you know what it is about within the first two or three seconds? 9choirs mentions beliefnet.com and yelp.com as the types of websites they do not want to be like. However, if you land on either of those websites, you will know within a couple of seconds exactly what they are about. 9choirs, in my opinion, could use stronger branding. A brand has to stand for something immediately identifiable.

A purpose of branding is to effectively and efficiently distribute the information your audience wants and needs.

That concludes this brief series on branding.

4 thoughts on “Branding Nonduality

  1. 2ericc

    Jerry,
    You raise an interesting point about branding, which has me wondering: can Truth be branded? Someone once said that ‘everyone who loves truth is destined to agree.’ But, is branding merely an attempt to profit from a quest for truth, turning a hobby or passion into a job or profit center? I see nothing “wrong” with this.

    I like the New Testament Greek word oikonomia, -management, hinting of homemaking [from oikos: home] whence we get our word ‘economy.’ It speaks of good stewardship. Now, a good steward wants to make it through the winter when there will be a dearth of food. That takes planning and effort. So, is branding merely an effort to survive by making what I love doing pay? (I see nothing wrong with this.)

    But I think there is more to it. We are social creatures. We want our “home” to be near the homes of others with whom we share common ground. Pretty soon we’ve formed a community of special interests — of canoe builders, or motorcyclists, or chess players. Paths are worn between the homes. Ideas are swapped. Everybody grows. Community flourishes. (The same Greek word is also the root for our word ‘ecology.’)

    For some time I’ve known that church=community (and community=church, of course). I like to think of church as a pursuit of the ideal. The very thought that we are able to imagine an ideal is provocative and intriguing. Perhaps branding is a way of saying “this is what the ideal looks like from my house.” Can we make it better?

    Jerry, it’s been great cooking in the sauna with you. (I’m sure there is much more to branding nonduality than we’ve yet touched upon.) Mary and I like to sauna on the weekends. We built one out in the old milkhouse.

    ~eric.

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  2. nonduality Post author

    Yes, as I see it, branding is a way of magnetizing a product or service in order to draw attention to it most effectively. A financial motive isn’t always the primary reason. However, time and energy are very much linked to money.

    For me, branding is more like the presentation and magnetizing of a specific viewpoint so that a clear position is taken within the nondual “community” consisting of websites, blogs, forums, retreats, etc.

    For a couple of years not long ago, I was doing dry saunas a few times a week. I loved them.

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  3. stefandayhasablog

    Interesting topic as of Oprah’s announcement today. Ken Wilber has done a good job of branding ‘Integral’ – but I dont think he’s branded non-duality. He branded a system: in fact a very complex and holistic system – but a system in my mind is far from non-dual.. its a fucking maze.

    And no, I’ve never fully investigated Integral, many friends say I’d like it.. but the complexity of it seems daunting and something that contradicts the super simplicity of non-dual.

    I would say simply that Integral is a branding of Ken Wilber. The two are together.. one idea, interchangable.

    On Eckhart- I think using his name is brilliant.

    http://www.eckhartteachings.com

    You cant brand non-duality without dumbing it down and confusing people: finger to the moon confusion stuff.

    Eckhart touches at a space and a presence that is unspeakable. By keeping his name as his brand. .. he makes it clear: “I am a finger, not the moon.”

    Free piece of Eckhart video content, click the thumbnail:

    http://www.boomboxradio.com/soundstrue/Modules/ShoppingCart/Video.aspx

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  4. fware28

    Hi all

    In respect to branding and brand management, I don’t see it as so much having to do with more advanced states of awareness as it seems to be a form of ” mind control”, or manipulation by marking techniques, most dubious … working by cognitive “abbreviation” associated with sounds and graphics, all very static !

    A good read for some ideas in a critical light come in reading Naomi Klein’s NO LOGO book. This is more sociology, politics, but an interesting critique on how branding is used to REDUCE human diversity, freedoms.

    It seems to my lights that in a better world, we’d go by “names” like a way of being called at a Time in Space.
    the person -dependent on their personality, inklings, moods and the way they’re perceived – not unlike the ways native a originals or indians called a things – recall our dynamic dimension in Mind (ala Greg Bateson)..

    So a name is a nickname and one is branded as a function of social and psychosomatic associations with the earth, stars, etc. Not as a ploy to make money off selling concepts.

    This is the opitome of Dual thinking !
    At least I’m stuck in this perception 😉

    cheers all
    namasté

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