Branding Strategy Insider helps marketing oriented leaders and professionals build strong brands. To that end, we regularly answer questions from marketers everywhere. Today we hear from Clint, a marketer in Nashville, Tennessee who asks…
I work on brand for a global Christian resources company with a retail operation. I have been trying to think of an example of a brand that is associated exclusively with religion. I just imagined myself walking through a church trying to identify something with a brand: Pews, pulpits, bibles, hymnals, steeples… nothing I can think of has a brand identity. Why do you think this is? Do we see branding as taboo when we associate it within the context of religion?
Clinton, thanks for your question. I think of everything in terms of brands. Cities are brands and cultural institutions are brands. So are schools, people and yes, even religions.
Think about how different Unitarian Universalists (UUs) seem to be from people who belong to an Assemblies of God church. Or how Christian Scientists are different from Southern Baptists. Or how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is different from Vineyard churches. Consider Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims and Jews. And even within the Muslim faith, consider the different branches of Islam – Sunni, Shi’a, Sufi, Ahmaddiya, etc. Or within Judaism, the differences between Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. And there are Missouri Synod Lutherans (of a German heritage, fairly conservative), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Scandinavian, more liberal) and Wisconsin Evangelical Lutherans (very conservative). Or how LDS is different from RLDS or FLDS.
Consider the differences in beliefs and world views and traditions and forms of worship. Consider the different conceptions of God and of man’s place in the universe and even of the nature of reality. Consider the differences in importance of silence versus praising versus scholarly study versus doing good works in different religions. Consider the different types of people that different religions attract.
I believe that religion is highly branded. It is just not the way that most people think about religion.
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