the Krishna Brand

After a chat about blogging with some friends on Thursday night I decided to put my money where my mouth is, or should I say where my keyboard is?

I remember reading a note by Dave Winer about blogging every Friday, rain or shine. It’s time to get started. I started on Thursday but that’s ok. I’m eventually posting it today, Sunday.

An incident I became aware of this week has got me thinking, "What is the Hare Krishna brand? What makes its value? Why do our customers want to protect it?

I realise this is marketing jargon but we are in the business of marketing aren’t we? We just call it by another name; preaching, outreach etc.

The incident was kind of scary. From a PR point of view anything that can put an organisation into disrepute if observed by enough concerned and connected persons can be all over the internet tomorrow. Scary stuff.

The Hari-nama party went out on Thursday night to St Kilda. They were short of manpower and encouraged a new person to come along. They were heckled by one of the local deros  who also happens to be a Food for Life regular. Although encouraged to ignore the heckling the new man took it upon himself to teach the heckler a lesson and invited him down a side alley for a discussion which turned into a confrontation.

This was observed by a number of people; tourists armed with digital recording devices, local business people and their patrons and a well wisher of the Hare Krishna Movement.

He called me the next day to tell me his concern. I was glad he called.

But, it got me thinking?

He respects the devotees and doesn’t want to see that respect diminished.

I put the question to my online friends and got some great responses. Here’s a comment from an old friend that supports this notion.

Here’s what Steve had to say, “As an outsider… Whenever I mention you in conversation, people always say, ‘nice people, who do no harm.’ It’s the ‘no harm’ that seems powerful to me. So many religions are seen as creating harm, as dangerous, frightening.”

I guess that explains why our friend didn’t like to see a devotee in a confrontation?

Although this is an important element I still think there is more to our brand. I’m going to work on finding it out.

Any suggestions?

About Aniruddha

President of the Hare Krishna Community in Melbourne Australia, amongst other things.
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