The Religious and Brand Loyalists

Brands need to worry about 'satisfied' consumers. Because 'satisfaction' is in no way a guarantee to continued patronage. In fact satisfied consumers are ones willing to switch to another brand should they perceive greater value in a competing one. Its consumers who connect psychologically with a brand that turn loyal, to the extent they don't switch. Its them that that brands don't need to worry about. They will faithfully remain within the fold.

Its the same with religion too. People who don't connect psychologically with a denomination are the ones likely to drift out of the fold. Not so for the ones who are deeply into religious practices of the denomination they follow. That's what the latest wide-ranging study on American religious life reveals. It finds that the percentage of Christians in the nation has declined and more people say they have no religion at all. Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

But amidst this decline its interesting to note that some denominations have had their numbers remain steady. Take the Pentecostals for example. The percentage of Pentecostals remained mostly steady since 1990 at 3.5 percent, a surprising finding, according to the study, considering the dramatic spread of the tradition worldwide. Pentecostals are known for a spirited form of Christianity that includes speaking in tongues and a belief in modern-day miracles.

But its not surprising at all, to me. Pentecostals identify strongly with their practices. They aren't the kind to drift because their beliefs are strong and deep. Their 'connection' has been sealed. That's deep brand loyalty for everyone to see. Its no wonder then, that there aren't any switches happening among the Pentecostal fold.

Commercial brands must learn from the Pentecostals. They must give their consumers something to believe and connect to. Something so strong, the fold doesn't find any reason to drift. That's the only way to keep the numbers steady.


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