Religion vs. brand?

Here’s an odd finding reported at the Neuromarketing blog: Holy Branding! Religion Gives Brand Immunity. The main point:

… religious people, or even people temporarily in a religious frame of mind, find branded items less appealing than do less religious people.

(Abstract and order form here: Brands: The Opiate of the Nonreligious Masses?)

We could do all kinds of theorizing about why this is so. And we shouldn’t over-conclude based on one study. But to me this finding suggests two things to fundraisers:


  1. If your donors are religious (and most of them are, even if your organization isn’t) being heavily brand-focused may not do you a lot of good. (By brand-focused, I mean the outward and visible manifestations of brand — the strict “brand-cop” approved stuff.) This is in line with my experience: Story, authenticity, and offer are what make a fundraising message work. Brand-cop stuff usually doesn’t work as well.
  2. If you yourself are not religious, it may be that you find clear visual branding more compelling than a lot of your donors do. Don’t mistake your psychology and preferences for your donors’.


Comments

2 responses to “Religion vs. brand?”

  1. With out wanting to over theorise I wonder if what this study shows is that those who are religious are brand loyal to their religion, making them more likely to reject other ways of identifying themselves to others through consumer brands.

  2. With out wanting to over theorise I wonder if what this study shows is that those who are religious are brand loyal to their religion, making them more likely to reject other ways of identifying themselves to others through consumer brands.

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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


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The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

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Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

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