CreativityEngaging CultureStrategy & Marketing

Primal Branding

So I wake up at 2am this morning. Can’t sleep. Finally get up and walk downstairs. I pick up an old copy of “Creativity” magazine, and open to an article about Patrick Hanlon called “Primal Branding.” It’s about his fascinating book that correlates effective branding to religious belief. Let me say that again. He compares effective branding to religious belief. Know what? It’s brilliant. No – branding is not religious. But both display compelling connections and have powerful intersections. Check out the article and read the book. What are the comparisons? The following important steps:

Every belief system has a creation story. Celebrating that creation story is key to your success. Remember the track coach who experimented with a waffle iron to make running shoes that gripped?

  1. Belief systems have a creed everyone believes in. Do you believe in life after death? Do you “think different?”
  2. Belief systems have icons. The Nike swoosh, the VW Bug, Netflix’s red envelope – things that transcend the normal.
  3. Belief systems have rituals. Go into any Starbucks anywhere on the planet and you order the same product, the same way, from the same menu, in the same looking store. Your customer experience should be the same on the web, print, on TV – anywhere.
  4. Belief systems have leaders. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Oprah. People who rise above the everyday and represent the product.

There’s more, so please check out their website and get the book. Fascinating stuff – especially to anyone marketing and branding faith-based products and organizations.

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  1. Good post. We’ve often made connections between "high-end" audio and religion. Similar connections can be observed with "premium wine" marketing. JL

  2. Wow! This article helps give new insight to the marketing issue. It reminds me of Deuteronomy 6: 6-9, where God told the Hebrew people to surround themselves with the ten commandments so that they and their children will never forget them. It sounds like marketing and advertising people seem to have this concept down pretty well. (Even though God came up with these principles first) This helps to give me more focus on further defining my personal brand in order to increase the impact on the lives of others.

    Allen Paul Weaver III
    author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers

  3. Good grief. This marketing and branding stuff is not for the faint of heart. Some of these points are real brain-twisters! And I even got a full night's sleep. My hat's off to you, Phil. Teach us, O Wise One. How does the intermediate branding student make application of these profound truths?

  4. I must admit, I clicked on the article link and had to print it out and go and sit and read through it very slowly. This was one that could not be rushed. Phil, I thank you for posting this piece on Primal Branding. I’ve already started taking notes and applying it to my book/personal brand. It truly has helped to clear up some haziness and give me a clearer sense of direction. Thank you again.

    Allen Paul Weaver III
    author, Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers

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