Kurt is a meditation teacher in Michigan. Recently we worked together on his brand in order to attract attention to his services within the East Lansing community, helping him stand out from other people and centers offering similar classes and trainings.
While we worked in several areas (including Brand Positioning, Brand Messages and Validation Research), developing his Brand Personality was an especially important step for Kurt. To illustrate, here’s what his emails to his subscriber list were like before we started working together:
From: Kurt Scholler
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2014 6:09 PM
Subject: meditation retreat Nov 15
On Sat, Nov 15 we’ll have a meditation retreat:
– good next step if you have regular practice
– at Center For Yoga, East Lansing
– full retreat is 8am-5pm
– 1/2 day retreat is a good option for first time
– ok to come late/leave early–let’s coordinate
– retreat is silent, except for 2 short talks
– sitting meditation 45 minute periods
– walking meditation/yoga 15 min periods
– you can do longer sits if you want
– you can practice your own techniques
– eating meditation (i.e. lunch) & break
– private instruction as needed
– Price = donation.
Interested? Let me know and I can send details…
Kind of boring and matter-of-fact, right? Since I know Kurt, I knew this email did not in the least match his wit, warmth and humor.
After working together, Kurt recognized that it was not only okay for his natural personality to shine through, it was desirable not to hide his traits behind a thick wall. Here’s another email he sent more recently:
Run! Get off the plane! Get the bags! Get to the bus! Today, our flight was late and we missed our bus back home. Ah yes, another excellent opportunity to practice staying in the present moment.
Staying present to the full experience of living is especially interesting precisely when there is an edge to it. Whenever you are late for something, it is tempting to become pushy, dismissive of other people, and unaware of your body. You may rush toward your goal, becoming so focused on it that you ignore other parts of your experience—especially the intense feeling of anticipation and future orientation.
In this state, a kind of separation arises. You feel disconnected from a sense of ease and a sense of “enough”. This is a great opportunity to connect with your body and feel that pulsing, driving energy. As soon as you allow yourself to feel it, the urgency may slightly peak, and then, just like a wave, it subsides until you feel at ease again.
The goal with this practice is not to become like a dead fish, letting life pass you by. Instead, it is to connect more deeply with life and become one with it by starting with yourself, by starting with your body. Whatever discomfort there is, allow yourself to feel it. Not feeling it is shutting it out, making life smaller.
So, where is it in your body that the stress, the edge, the pushiness or neediness is felt? In your head? Your heart? Your whole body? Don’t ignore it. Instead, feel it and allow yourself to kind of melt into that intensity. Your experience will become broader and easier and there will be more unity.
In that sense of oneness, you might be running like the wind, but there is still an ease to it. And you might miss your bus, but the whole way there, you did not miss life.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Here’s what we will be doing in this Continuing Beginner class:
– nothing (just kidding. If you can truly do that, you don’t need this class)
– review the various techniques covered in the Beginner class
– help you settle on your own unique set of techniques
– deal with your personal logistical challenges
– find many little ways of integrating meditation into the daily activities of your life
– answer your questions about your own practice and share with others
At the end of the 8 weeks, my goal is that each participant:
– has a regular meditation practice that feels right for them and provides clear benefits
– has a good understanding of the logistics of meditation
– feels more confident and self-reliant about their meditation practice
– feels a great sense of relief to have to no longer listen to my jokes
To find out more and register, go to: http://kurtscholler.com/classes/meditation.html
Yes, it is lengthy – he’s decided to include a blog post in each email – but the content is engaging enough that I want to read through it all. I really get a sense of who he is, what he has to offer, and how it will benefit me if I am seeking meditation practice.
Finally, here’s what Kurt has to say about this part of the branding process:
Most of my communications and writing on my website reflect what I learned from working with you. I have a whole different view on how to move forward.
I used the lessons you taught me of applying my own voice and style. So, basically I let our work together transform my view on how to express myself publicly, from what I thought I needed to show—clinical, to what turns out to feel much more natural and fun—real, casual, telling a story.”