Primal branding

I saw this article about Primal branding a couple of days ago [via: Phil Cooke].

Primal branding looks at the factors that help create communities of people who believe in a brand sufficiently to ‘buy in’. In essence, it outlines a clear parallel beween branding and religious belief systems.

Now this is not about marketing Christianity or the church. But it does give a helpful analysis of how and why people believe in a brand. To work, primal branding incorporates:

1. A creation story – how things started
2. A creed – a statement that defines why ‘we’ are different or where we’re headed
3. Icons – symbols that register an instant recognition of identity
4. Rituals – particular ways of doing things
5. Words – special words that will only be fully understood by believers
6. Unbelievers – every belief is defined to some extent by working out who are the unbelievers
7. A leader – someone who embodies the vision

Check this list out against any religious faith or pseudo religious system. Christianity, a Premiership football team, The Alpha Course, Apple Mac users, doctors, The War on Terror, coke, your mobile phone company…

To me this is less about how to market something (especially Christianity) and more about what draws people, how we are made and, to some extent, what we need out of life. Commitment to a brand/religion seems to be an inherent part of the way God’s made us. We were born for belonging and community.

“Our hearts are restless until they find rest in you”.

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2 Responses to Primal branding

  1. sally says:

    thought provoking Tim- thanks 🙂

  2. Tim Abbott says:

    Sally – Thanks. Although this is a secular theory I’m staggered at how powerfully true it is in the case of Christianity. I’m still thinking it through for us here…

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