Bardos & Brands

Bardos & Brands

The Tibetan word bardo means “intermediate state.”

Change is the only constant. We try to delude ourselves that we can craft stability and permanence, and sometimes we succeed for periods at a time. But try as we might, the evolving reality of nature begins to erode even the most stable situations. Our successes make an impact on our surroundings, which result in reactions that fundamentally change the situation.

Think of ripples in a pond; a single pebble causes perfectly symmetrical waves. A handful of pebbles, however, creates instability in that order as multiple shock waves intersect and interact. Sometimes waves coincide and multiply together, while others counteract to cancel each other out. It’s an excellent analogy for business and market mechanics.

Effective communications campaigns work like those ripples in your market.In a perfectly still market, it would be easy to cause a disturbance that will generate attention. But in reality, the pond is already activated before you start. Your campaign now introduces new waves that impact the ones already present. When campaigns are effective, they shift market share in your favor, which impacts your competition who’s now lost market share. The natural result will be a reaction to regain it, which continues the endless changes in business.

As markets change, new developments in technology add more dynamics. Beyond the effectiveness of communications, added value resulting from automation and access continue to increase efficiency and add value. Prices drop. Usability improves.

While these changes are constant, they occur in phases.

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Each phase of business (like a wave in the pond) has a start and end, followed by a gap between them. We tend to focus on the waves. They are easy to observe. But the real opportunity can be found in the spaces that separate each phase. Tibetan Buddhists attempt to explore those bardos, gaps and transitory states that exist between the normal occurrences of daily life. Free from the disruptions of what’s “happening,” it’s easier to see below the surface into the depth of reality.

It’s those “bardos” or gaps between business phases where branding takes shape. In between campaigns. Before product launch. Pre-startup. Strategic planning. These are the moments when businesses can see most clearly. Free from the disruptions of active campaign management, executives are more receptive to real creative thought.

Finding the right timing for branding is important. Look for the bardos as essential opportunities to truly open up your vision. These are the times to let go of past failures, embrace the present moment and develop a vision of the future. It’s easier to course correct when the water is calm.

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Wise leaders find a way to see these gaps before they actually happen. Even though the current business wave is already upon us, look beyond it to the gap that will inevitably follow. Though it’s not visible, the truth is that it’s out there, just beyond the current cycle. We don’t have to wait for the gaps to reach us because they already exist; we just need clear vision. It might be the key to harnessing the power of change.

This is what Flux is all about. Find the gaps. Make the change.

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