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SB 2016 #3: Karma Marketing

Sirikul Laukaikul was one of the speakers we saw at SB 2016 in Copenhagen. Karma Marketing is based on the idea of a “sufficiency economy”, which seeks to help companies ensure that everyone has enough resources.

DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul is a Brand Strategist and Sustainability Advisor for the Brandbeing Consultant Company.

My photograph of one of DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul’s slides from her presentation at SB 2016 Copenhagen.

The central idea of Karma Marketing is a “sufficiency economy” which requires a shift in corporate perspective from always thinking “more” – more products, more revenue, more profit, more market share – to a mindset of what is “enough”.   

             

            A cartoon shown at SB 2016 Copenhagen.

The philosophy: The law of karma applies not only to humans, but also to companies, therefore design, or redesign, your company to not take more than is needed, so that all people on Earth will have enough of what they need. Like customer-centricity it is about needs not wants.

Hungry children, and food wasted by the West.  Slide by DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul.

At its most basic the idea as I currently understand it is this:

  

                              MORE = GREED = BAD KARMA 

                 SUFFICIENT = GENEROSITY = GOOD KARMA 

           GOOD KARMA = SATISFACTION = STRONG BRAND


Greed leads to a cycle of dissatisfaction, anger, ignorance and foolish behavior. 

Bad karma continually drains energy from a company. Slide by DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul.

Marketing that promotes empathy instead of selfishness and focuses on sharing instead of on greed, can lead to kindness, satisfaction and good behavior.

Good karma continually adds energy to a company. Slide by DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul.

In the long term good behavior benefits everybody, especially the businesses the promote it.

Mindfulness Meditation is a major trend that has been scientifically proven to have positive health benefits, and general benefits to society. Slide by DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul.

This does not mean companies should not make a profit, but they should adjust their missions to make sure that everyone else has enough resources for a decent life.

How do this: 

  • Start with raising your own self-awareness, see that you have enough for yourself, and practice moderation.
  • But don’t stay at that level, extend it to others by making an effort to see that others have what they need.
  • Become aware of how our life-style affects people, especially in other parts of the world that we are insulated from.
  • Extend this process to your company, make sure it has what it needs, but don't stop there.
  • If you are involved in product design, branding, marketing, resource management, supply line design, etc. study the boundaries of your operation to become aware of your true needs.
  • Search or any elements in your operation that may be taking more than necessary and keeping others, anywhere in the world, from having the necessities of life.  (You may find areas of waste you had not noticed before and save money by reducing them.)
  • Incorporate your new knowledge into the design of your product, brand, campaign, etc. on the idea of moderation.

Slide by DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul.

Ultimately it is up to each of us as individuals to start the process.  But once started you gain momentum and band togther with others in your company to make your company a more purpose driven and sustainable profit making and good doing machine. There is a similar thesis in the documentary I Am FisheadSlide by DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul.

Moderation: In Buddhism this is known as the middle path, not too extravagant (hedonism), not too frugally (useless life).  This does not mean finding the midpoint between the two and sitting there. It means existing within reasonable limits and the ability to exercise self-control and enforce one's willpower to resist the lure of selfishness, greed and extreme thinking. 

Marketing has gotten, for some very real reasons, a bad name, however, it is just a tool and can be used for good.  Slide by DR. Sirikul Nui Laukaikul.

Motivation: In the long term the good karma you build up will come back to your company in the form of increased profits, less waste, and deeper, stronger brand loyalty.

For the cynics:  there is scientific evidence that karma is not just a "spiritual" concept, that there is actual quantifiable benefits to positive social behavior and actions based on empathy, including positive benefits for businesses.  

At Butterflies & Hurricanes we believe that this benefit for relationships also applies to the brand relationship, and therefore to your company’s TBL.

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