In this noisy, technology driven business landscape, to stand out from your competitors and stay relevant to your consumers, brands need to develop niche and creative stories to thrive. To take the necessary steps in the right direction, one needs to be crystal clear about what their brand’s values are and what their brand story is. Enter mindfulness.

Mindfulness refers to the ability to focus intently on what is happening at the present moment- both within you and around you. It is also defined as being highly conscious and self-aware. In the context of a content saturated world for brands, this is now more relevant than ever. In order to tap into the right customers and evoke accurate emotions through your brand story, you need to be mindful of your own brand identity in relation to events taking place around you.

Here are  What’sThe Story’s top tips on how to become a mindful brand:

1. Understand Your Consumers Beliefs & Values

Are your consumers young, old, students or parents of young children? Are they strongly politically aligned to a certain party? Look inside, outside, read real, fact-checked and reliable news to be extremely well- informed about what could upset or move your consumer before coming up with your strategy—this will especially help during unexpected moments in your business.

When Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump’s clothing line citing declining profits, a whole domino affect took place in the retail and e-commerce sector of the United States. Consumers put pressure on other retail chains such as Bloomingdale’s and Amazon to boycott her brand and show solidarity against their view of the Trumps. This was a crucial time for other retailers to react. Brands had to be extremely mindful about how they were going to play this and their reaction would win or lose them a significant number of customers.

Some Tweets Consumers Wrote during the hullaballoo:

“Zappos and Amazon still are selling Ivanka Trump’s shoes, so until they pull that plug Im boycotting them. #GrabYourWallet

@Bloomingdales I think it’s time to cut ties with Ivanka Trump. Nordstrom is leading the way. #GrabYourWallet

2. Be Self-aware About What Your Brand Stands For

One of the main goals of mindfulness is to become more self-aware and adapt to the changes taking place around you at that moment. Once an individual or brand has mastered their story by really listening to and understanding their foundational values and what they stand for, success is imminent. Instead of running on autopilot for your brand or wasting time constantly looking at what the competition is doing, focus on what makes your products & services stand out and special for your specific target consumer. Then build a lifestyle around these products. People don’t want to buy a fancy blender, they want to learn what they can do with that blender—from intricate recipes presented on multimedia to influencers, who use your product and endorse what it makes. They would expect your brand to teach them how to make the best version of whatever your blender can produce.

Our favourite brand that tells their story with a deep sense of self-awareness is Lululemon. They link their brand to inspiring people, driven athletes and yoga &fitness trainers. These select group of people, who are known as Lululemon ambassadors are sparking conversations through the cult fitness wear brand on everything from ‘living a full life’ to topics like ‘friends are more important than money’. Lululemon sells a whole concept and lifestyle related to their products through real life people who embody their brand’s values. Whether you are a woman who is looking to be “contoured for confidence” or a man who wants “grind down shorts”, there is something for everyone. They are clear about the fact that yoga is at the core of their brand. They exemplify this by teaching yoga complimentary at their stores and through online videos.

3.    Focus on your Why

This is crucial not only in the early stages of a business but will help create your content strategy going forward as well. If you know your purpose and why you are creating a product or service and have a larger mission in mind, the stories around your brand will follow easily. There is no point creating content if it isn’t going to move your readers or convert them. Answering your why will help you create content that moves, matters and converts instead of merely informing readers. It is crucial to show you are a company that does not only care about numbers, but people and have a larger purpose with what you are making. We love Google’s community programs.   They represent a great example of businesses using their vast resources to give to a variety of causes within a larger vision.

4. Disrupt with Collaborations

Every industry is going through disruption because of technology and all the options it offers us. But one needs to disrupt and create services, products and ideas with responsibility. I strongly believe that the best output comes through collaborations of experts across different technological platforms, geographies, expertise and industries. Only when you are mindful of what you truly have to offer, can you connect the dots to collaborate with the right partners to create something truly disruptive and life changing. To truly disrupt, one has to be mindful and listen to the environment and adapt with flexibility. Social enterprises such as CRIB in Singapore & The Rumie Initiative, headquartered in Canada, do just that. They bring people from different backgrounds and expertise together to synergise and make a difference–this is where the magic happens. People cannot work in silos any longer—it’s just not the way new, remarkable ideas and workflows can be put into the world.

With CRIB, the goal is to empower women and connect them on a level playing field. Weather you need funding, business expertise or want to be an Angel, they will help you find the right match in an open, inclusive and organic manner.

For Rumie, they have used the power of technology to enrich and educate underprivileged children in remote communities, with their curated free educational content uploaded on cheap tablets. They partner with NGOs, schools, governments, educators and individuals to work together and bring the tablets remote places–loaded with content specifically tailored for that community of children.

Puja Dish Bharwani is the Founder & Chief Storyteller of What’s The Story?-a Singapore-based digital content focused consultancy. For more tips on branding, storytelling and communicating effectively, please sign-up for our monthly newsletter through our website.