Monday, April 6, 2009

Probing Religious Minds for Branding Secrets

In an obviously controversial study, Martin Lindstrom (market researcher and author) has been conducting a consumer-brain scanning project that probed the brand qualities that the world's largest religion reportedly possess and taps in their follower's minds. Qualities such as a clear vision, sense of belonging, storytelling, sensory appeal, grandeur, symbols, rituals, mystery, and evangelism.

Lindstrom then went on to compare those qualities with 12 cult like brands including Harley Davidson and Guinness. The correlation for brands like these were 84.6%. At the end of the video Lindstrom states that these qualities are what could be the blue print for future successful brands. I couldn't agree more.

Religion has been one of the longest 'branded' institutions in history. In my Global Studies courses I often studied religion as a powerful institution in cultural understanding. Lifestyle or cult like brands such as Harley evoke powerful emotions because they do provide a sub-culture for its followers. Often we see that a sub-culture also includes many of the qualities Lindstrom noted in his study. People often have organized religion (a sub-culture of the larger culture) in their life because they want a sense of belonging, and they feel that sense through the rituals, symbols, evangelism, and storytelling. 

To survive these tough times brands need more than just low prices and understanding. They need to tap into these qualities, because emotion is what drives many people's love of brands and turns them into true zealots. 

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