Inspiring Action Brand of the Week: Headspace
Written by James Nieman
It’s 2012. Andy Puddicombe approaches the stage. He’s carrying three juggling balls.
“When did you last take any time to do nothing?”
It’s an interesting way to open up a TED Talk. After a brief pause, the Headspace co-founder addresses the audience once again.
“Just 10 minutes. Undisturbed. No emailing. Texting. No Internet. No TV. No chatting. No eating. No reading…Simply doing nothing.”
He had the audience’s attention.
The talk “All It Takes Is 10 Mindful Minutes” has become iconic. It’s amassed over 6 million views and was among the first TED Talks to be featured on Netflix.
The speech itself is just 10 minutes long. This is no accident. Headspace is built around the idea that “10 minutes could change your whole day.”
It’s simple, but if you’ve been reading our blog, you know that only the very best value propositions can be plain and direct. When the product is this good, there’s no need to dress it up.
And make no mistake, Headspace is good. The digital meditation app provides over 8 million users in 200 different countries with guided meditation sessions every day, and that number is only expected to rise in the next year. Google, LinkedIn, Virgin, and Goldman Sachs are just a few of the many companies worldwide that offer the subscription package to all of their employees.
And we’re not surprised. We’ve witnessed time and time again the power of a truly inspiring idea – and that’s exactly what Headspace has. Posted in big and beautiful letters, its homepage reads “our simple idea is to teach the world to meditate, so that everyone can live a happier, healthier, more enjoyable life.”
It’s a purpose. It’s a social mission. It’s an inspiring idea above commercial intent.
Like most inspiring ideas, it came from an inspiring individual. Puddicombe’s brand and his personal brand are very much intertwined. He’s just as much a part of Headspace as Headspace is a part of him, and that plays an integral role in what makes the Headspace experience feel so authentic.
A Buddhist monk, Puddicombe has trained in Nepal, India, Burma, Thailand, Australia and Russia. By the time he started the company in 2010, he had spent nearly two decades of his life devoted to the practice.
This goes a long way with users. As the voice behind the app’s meditation sessions, Puddicombe delivers his undeniable passion for meditation in a very direct manner.
Think of Headspace as a gym membership for the mind. Instead of having a personal trainer whom you don’t know or trust, you have one of the very best on the planet. This creates a level of comfort and confidence among the users. There’s nothing artificial or dishonest about Puddicombe, and brand advocates feel they belong to something real.
And Puddicombe, along with everyone else who works at Headspace, has discovered what the people they serve aspire to be and do. They’re anxious to slow things down. They live fast-paced, frantic lives and carry an immense amount of stress. They want to relax but just don’t know how.
Headspace does just that. It’s been proven to help people stress less, exercise more and sleep better. It can help with relationships and can increase work performance. While meditation is an ancient practice that dates back centuries, science is just now catching up to all of its benefits.
There’s really no limit to the extent of positive impact that meditation can have on an individual.
It didn’t start with an app. It started with an idea: to make meditation and mindfulness as accessible, relevant, and beneficial to as many as possible.
In the beginning, Headspace was strictly an event company. Then they expanded to books. Eventually it evolved into a comprehensive online resource, and now a mobile-service app.
Headspace is channeling technology to bring the benefits of meditation to the masses. The app allows Puddicombe to connect with his user base regardless of where they are in the world.
Many people have argued that technology is counterintuitive to meditation. Perhaps that makes even more of a case for Headspace. Talking about his iPhone, Puddicombe tells FastCompany:
“This can be used for good or bad. What excited me was the opportunity to use it for good, to interrupt some of the negative habits that seem to be developing quite quickly around technology.”
Through doing just that, Headspace has defined the alternative future it exists to prevent. As technology continues to advance, society will only become more and more inundated with distractions. Headspace is using the very same technology, but to encourage people to step back, live in the moment, and relax.
That’s why Headspace is our Inspiring Action Brand of the Week!