Faith gets the first Buy, Belief seals Loyalty
An interesting discussion had me thinking about Faith and Belief. Especially in religious matters that have a 'God' implication. Faith is what takes one to God. Belief is what keeps him there. Belief is the post experience outcome. Faith is what leads to a trial.
In India religion is big. I mean its practice is varied and widespread. Crisscrossing the country are various religious places of faith. In fact religious places in India are known for particular reasons with particular practices. For example, the practice of Attukal Pongala sees more than 1.5 million women throng the Attukal Devi temple, where they prepare a concoction called Pongala (rice cooked with jaggery, ghee, coconut and other ingredients) in the open, in small pots to please Goddess Kannaki (the deity at the temple). This particular religious practice has its own reason. What's fascinating is, the throng only seems to get bigger by the years.
A consumer's dalliance with a brand too has parallels to religious practices. Parallels to Faith and Belief. Faith on a brand is an outcome of right perceptions formed. About the brand. All credit must go to the brand's communiques. Belief on the other hand in the brand is a result of either positive personal experiences with the brand or faith on a reference group's belief. That is, I believe in a brand because I have used it, and so know it to believe it, or because my colleague who's an expert on products in that category, has been a user himself, and vouches for it.
Brands that seek loyalty must first engineer that 'leap of faith' which translates into a first buy. And then deliver on hitherto perceptions (read, via outcomes) in a manner where the buyer comes right back, and also is instrumental in getting others to come.
All because the buyer's traversed the path of faith, and turned the corner. He's now a believer.