One of the world's biggest advertising agencies claims that consumer brands, such as Ikea, Gatorade, Calvin Klein, and Disney, have become the new religion.
In fact, in a global survey, the firm Young & Rubicam finds that people turn to brand names to find meaning, reports the Financial Times.
"The brands that are succeeding are those with strong beliefs and original ideas. They are also the ones that have the passion and energy to change the world, and to convert people to their way of thinking," the firm stated.
And one design consultancy, Fitch, finds successful brands project a philosophy that is relevant to buyers. That's why people get married at Disney World or shop on Sunday mornings. Fitch refers to such buyers as "inner materialists." When they buy an Apple computer, they buy into the company's philosophy - not to show off, but just for their well-being.
This trend toward "belief brands" might be well and good if it also helps more companies become socially responsible in the way they do business. And it's a healthy sign that more people seek spirituality in their lives.
But trying to find inner peace in material goods is just the old struggle of trying to serve both God and mammon. How can anyone find truth in a Porsche, life in Adidas, love in a Rolex, or God in a mall?
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