Marketing Idea No. 187 – What does religion and brand marketing have in common?

It is probably one of the most controversial scientific findings of 2008.

In his $7 million neuroscience-based research study, Martin Lindstrom, one of the most famous brand gurus of our time, has spent over four years peering into the minds of 2,000 consumers across five countries to discover if there’s a parallel between brands and religion. From that it was revealed that brands indeed activate the same areas in the brain as religion. By analyzing brands like Harley Davidson, Apple, Guinness and hundreds of other commercial icons, Lindstrom discovered that we are hardwired to believe in some brands. Lindstrom went further, interviewing religious leaders from across faiths and cultures. He discovered that the ingredients that create powerful religions may also be invaluable for branding of the future.

This finding gives birth to some seriously interesting and in your face questions.

What connection, if any, exists between religion and our buying behavior? Are there similarities between the way our brains respond to religious and spiritual symbols, and the way they react to products or brands? Could certain products inspire the same sense of devotion and loyalty in us, as provoked by faith or religion? Might companies borrow from the world of religion when advertising their products?

The answer will probably change the way we see brand marketing forever.



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