brands, religion, consumer psychology

Brands, religions and consumer psychology

Brands, religion and consumer psychology is an article for deeper introspection of consumer minds and behavior. Here we have ascertained the relation between our perception towards brands and religions.

Few years back marketing and business professors at Tel Aviv and New York Universities conducted two separate researches. The researchers found that atheists or non religious people in the US rely more on brands than do pantheists or religious people. Consequently, this may imply that brands may replace religion by providing people with a measure of self-worth and meaning. Seth Godin, states that tribe or community gives us a sense of identity and tangible meaning to our existence and this is why people love the sense of belonging to any or multiple tribes/ community. Recent observations suggest brands are successfully replacing the necessity of religion by providing tangible identity and a sense of belonging to the entire populace.

How consumer psychology reciprocates to brands and religion?

In this blog, we would like to share similarities between brands and religion. The content are solely based on our research, understanding and observations. Douglas Van Praet scientifically stated how Christianity manages to remain the best selling brand in the US with over 2.2 billion loyal customers.

Praet in his best selling book, Unconscious Branding asserted on how Catholic church would be the biggest corporation in the United States based on their real estate and business holdings. This by far exceeds the combined worth of AT&T, Standard Oil, and US Steel. On closer introspection, we get to see that almost all religions have got their respective brand equity in their respective regions of popularity. What Christianity in the US is what Islam in Arab nations is what Hinduism in Indian subcontinents.

How our brain accepts religion?

Needless to say, every religion has got its respective share of devoted consumers. We may refer to that as pious or devout equity (wink). Neuroscientist, Andrew Newberg suggested that when we think of religious or spiritual beliefs or practices, we get to see tremendous similarities across practices and traditions among believers of all religions. Newberg also explained how religious practices involve universal features of human brains. Multiple parts of human brains are said to coordinate together while performing religious customs. As devotees, it is the Frontal lobe that focuses our attention on meditations and prayers or the limbic system that caters to our feelings of joy, awe or emotions and parietal lobe, considered a seat of our sensory emotions- coordinate together to adhere our devotion to various religious customs.

Human brains are pre-programmed on the precincts of our upbringing with a natural inclination to religion. Besides that, we all inherit an emotionally charged mission to save humanity and glorify god. Religious indoctrination across all traditions have a clearly defined process on how to achieve that goal.

Also read: Neuromarketing in advertising

Hypnotic modality is the key

According to consumer psychology, our unconscious processing of emotion guides most of our buying decisions. This is why marketers always try to gain access to our unconscious mind of their consumers through effective campaigns and advertising. Consumers can also access their unconscious minds during prayers and meditations. Hypnosis does the same thing while focusing our attention engendering the feelings of openness and oneness with our surroundings. A director of HMI College of Hypnotherapy, George John Kappas said that hypnotic modality is anything that attempts to control or modify behavior by affecting our belief system.

Hence effective attempts of religious preachings, marketing and engrossing advertisements are precise definitions of hypnotic modality. Although, the objectives may range between the promise of eternal salvation to more absorbent sanitary napkins.

How to employ hypnotic modality?

Brands employ hypnotic modality at hyper retails, movie theaters or even during fairs, festivities and events to instigate consumer psychology. Like brands, religion resorts to the use of hypnotic modality during religious congregations, prayers and during religious discourses. Remember you entering a temple/ mosque/ church with a grand enticing visual. The visual grandeur of the entrance with religious hymns, chants and bells in unison cater our mind through our auditory senses. Billowing waft of smoke either from the thurible or from the incense sticks soothe our mind by stimulating our olfactory nerves. All these feelings culminate in our mind to access the unconscious.

Even the prasadam at temples or wine at churches invigorate our taste buds. Furthermore, occasional shifting of positions- from standing to sitting or kneeling corresponds to both kinesthetic & proprioceptive senses. As a result, all these together instigate our eyes, ears, nose, mouth and body muscles to create and immersive experience.

How experience changes our behavior?

These experiences make us succumb to the feeling of sensory overload and it is a tactile and crucial element for changing beliefs. This real experience catering to all our five senses overwhelms the limit of our conscious mind. Consequently entangling us in a state attributed with denial of rational resistance. Our unconscious brain takes charge and starts guiding us.

In contrary to the aforementioned situation, imagine yourself inside hyper retail or Starbucks or shopping malls. The big and grand entrance complemented by soothing music, aromatic influence of coffee and chocolate invigorates our urge to consume. This scenario also denies our access to rational resistance and hence we never bargain at hyper retails or Starbucks. This ambiance overwhelms our sensory and emotional feelings while detaching us from our conscious minds.

Hidden treasure of unconscious mind

Our unconscious mind is the seat of our urges and desires. Our loyalty towards religion or consumer brands is not merely accidental but tactile. In fact these are results of scientific coordination of all our senses. Hence marketers tend to inundate consumers with sensory and emotional overload only to capture that unconscious. Brands are fast gaining acceptance among consumers in the 21st century using this same methodology. This is one of the key ways of getting access to the unconscious mind of the consumers.

However, the advent of causevertising, encouraged brands to get closer to consumers. Brands started providing us with much-needed solace and a sense of pride in every possible manner. This help brands gain prominence in both urban and rural households through messaging against taboos like LGBTQ, women empowerment, gay marriage, sperm donation, acid attacks, body shaming, rape, etc. In accordance to consumer psychology, these activities makes brands more appealing.

Brands, religion and consumer psychology is based on research papers conducted by scientists and marketers in different parts of the world. Adwartising has not validated the veracity of these research statistics. Objective of this article is not to demean any religion or religious beliefs or individual or organization, business, brand or community but to draw a scientific inference about functioning of human brains. The sole objective of this article is deeper introspection of consumer psychology and behavior.


This article with all its content only intends to ascertain the functioning of consumer minds. We do not intend to hurt, criticize, demean or condemn any religious sentiments, people, cult or organization. The content and context of the article is solely meant to analyze brain functions in response. This article is purely a part of consumer study and has nothing to do with any religion/ religions. If the views expressed in this article hurts any people, organization, cult or interest groups- then it is purely coincidental.

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