An article from the Winter 2010/2011 Canadian Business Magazine:
A new study suggests that brand reliance is a direct substitute for religion.
Marketers looking for a new wayof connecting with consumers might want to consider the place of God in their brand strategies. According to the paper "Brands: The Opiate of the Non-religious masses?" published in the journal Market Research, consumers who are very religious are less likely to express a preference for a particular name brand, while more secular consumers demonstrate much higher levels of brand consciousness.
The idea that there is a connection between consumer rands and religious iconography is not new - whatis the Star of David if not the original Nike Swoosh? But according to the study's lead authoer Roh Shachar, what is interesting is that consumer brands actually serve as direct substitutes for religion, providing feelings of self-worth and well-being.
The unanswered question is whether a strong religious preference in a region might actually block the expansion of strong consumer brands. Shachar says that is where his research is going next; in the meantime, he suggests that retailers looking to promote unbranded products might consider using cues to remind shoppers of their religious beliefs (such as playing "religious-like" music), while national brands might want to avoid overtly religious signs and symbols.
- Andrew Potter, Canadian Business