All the Strange Places: The One Thing a Prayer Kneeler Taught Me About Small Business Marketing

I love using images to describe concepts and am always hunting for them in my daily experiences. Images help people like me to contextualize concepts and make them tangible.

So on Sunday at church, I saw something that finally manifested a concept I have often thought about in regards to business marketing.

Two months ago my church installed a huge display of seven life-sized paintings. The paintings were of seven American Catholic saints, each painting delicately crafted and lit.

Every week for the past two months, I have seen people walk by the paintings, stop, and admire them, not unlike something you might see in a typical art museum.

But this week when I got to church, I noticed something very different near the new wall of saints… a huge prayer kneeler. “Wow!” I thought, “That’s really cool!” The large wood kneeler, like the paintings, was also beautiful – hand crafted with soft cushions, and really, really big!

And would you know it, with the installation of this prayer kneeler, people were kneeling in front of the art, engaging with the art in a way that just last week, they were not.

From Admiration to Engagement- What Can We Learn?

In a matter of hours, this wall of art went from being a sort of stuffy mini art museum where people come, look, and leave, to a place where people were able to stop, kneel down, and encounter something deeply divine. In other words, the entire display went from a sterile “look and don’t touch” masterpiece to something inviting, engaging, and interactive.

How did this happen, and what can we learn from it?

It happened with a small modification on the part of the church, with the installation of a piece of furniture. But the furniture wasn’t a chair, or a couch, or a table. No, those pieces wouldn’t have stirred the passerby to interact.

Rather, it was a kneeler, which simultaneously invited the passerby to participate and facilitated the possibility of engagement with the display in a very meaningful way.

How can you ‘put out a kneeler’ for your customers?

Think about the concepts in this experience I had this weekend. Take a look at the points of engagement in your own business: your products, services, and marketing platforms. Are people passing by and admiring a “look and don’t touch” masterpiece, or are they kneeling down and engaging?

About Ryan Eggenberger

As chief content and brand strategist at Little Flower Strategies, LLC, Ryan Eggenberger passionately engages the web with his expertise in online marketing on behalf of clients, and customers. Ryan holds a B.A. in Spanish from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is now a principal at Little Flower Strategies. He has spoken on blog panels and delivered talks on New Media in the United States and Australia.

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