Just another area where neuroscience is highlighting interesting resonances between previously disconnected domains of human experience:  immersing in a brand versus immersing in a religious experience.

Am intrigued to read Martin Lindstrom’s Buyology:

Verilliance shares a succinct write-up of Lindstrom’s work, with the strong brand example of Apple as the entry point for the comparison of neuroscientific stimulation by religion & brands.  The “pillars” Lindstrom identifies as fundamental to all religions are below:

  1. Sense of Belonging
  2. A Clear Vision
  3. Power over Enemies
  4. Sensory Appeal
  5. Storytelling
  6. Grandeur
  7. Evangelism
  8. Symbolism
  9. Mystery
  10. Rituals

Using these as the basis for the comparison seem off-base to me, but the list provides an interesting framework for the reason that it helps show the ethical quandaries around the potential of neuromarketing in the future.


According to this article, U.S. Protestants are more loyal to their favorite brands of retail products than they are to a particular denomination.

Transferable Lesson:  Healthy, Beautiful Spirituality for Life?

While this article and its study aren’t strikingly convincing, there are groups out there that are seriously studying staying power of denominational brands.  For example, see “Brand Name Identity in a Post-Denominational Age” which links perceptions of denominational identity with the sense of overall vitality of a particular group.

While not wanting to minimize the content of the religious message these brands convey, one can’t help but wonder what lessons religious groups can draw about branding from the business world.

One of the most persuasive branding campaigns I’ve seen was done by the United Church of Christ–the campaign is called God is Still Speaking and it communicates with great clarity:

God is Still Speaking

So, too, is the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America rebranding through a new tag line, “God’s work, our hands.”  The Episcopal Church is harnassing the power of increasing literacy of video to invite people to upload their own stories about being part of that denomination at iamepiscopalian.org:

By 2020, how will religious brands have evolved?