Religion should keep up the Branding effort

Branding is not the sole preserve of businesses and Nonprofits. Identifying organisation customers or audiences, and getting them to be aware of all that an organisation represents is very critical. So it matters to a business and secular Nonprofits as well as to a mega church organisation or a Shiite Muslim sect. To better grasp this, one has to recognise that there are a few, fast growing faith based groups initiating thorough growth strategies. And it's paying off. These ideas can be regarded, accessed and borrowed by other secular endeavours; religious entities can do same with thriving corporates.

Where it all began

Before the 19th century growth in business organizational branding efforts, at around 15th century and earlier Christians and Muslims respectively (including other Faiths) have been sharing on the importance of the Bible and Quran. These faiths were decisive about making membership that they employed words and war - whichever met their needs at the time.

3 Challenges of faith based Branding today

  1. Faith must be seen as a Brand-able

    Today's culture is social- and traditional-media driven. It is consumer-oriented also. Branded products in the secular commercial sphere were an effective response to the above mentioned features of the modern society. Faith has to become a branded product also, if the aim of its handlers is to penetrate new generations of technology and e-media age.

  2. Integrating with Today’s hype

    Celebrity marketing is very key in today's brand energy. Information have been overcome by emotion. That which used to be: religious persuasion by message loaded with dogma - has changed. Although the message need not change, it should be more emotive. Displaying love and care for the audience is the strategy of feeling. This should be first; then followed by informational value. No brand ever thrived with rigidity under the overshadowing atmosphere of change. So change is critical here.

  3. Direct selling

    It has been said from findings that what led to the growth of religions isn't the charismatic nature of religious leaders, but the propagated emotion of its adherents. Devotees keep marinating or brooding over doctrines or dogmas for a while. This not only helps teachings stick, it makes evangelists of members. They begin to disseminate this teachings. This must be intensified, not diminished.

    



    Brand elements employed by Faith Organisations


    Below are notable brand elements employed to boost religion
    1. Name: The word or words used to identify a Religion, its branded products, services, or concepts.
    2. Logo: The visual trademark that strikes familiarity and helps identify the brand.

    3. Tagline or Catchphrase: A short sentence or phrase added to brand symbols and usually spoken at meetings. Catchphrase drive emotion and deepens loyalty and a sense of belonging
    4. Graphics/Shapes: Christians have cross and the crucifix, Muslims have the star and the moon. This is for recognition.
    5. Colours: Colours excite and possess subconscious aura that stirs adherents and also creates further buy-in.
6. Holidays/Holy week: These are periods earmarked by religious organisations for the remembrance of birthdays or deaths of their founders or some rituals. Also this is typically brand based, and works

    The take home here is religions can do more about boosting their influence which is said to be waning. And re-branding is the solution.