Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Apple and Similar Brands Inadvertently Exploit Religious Zeal

 Comment to a FastCompany.com article by Martin Lindstrom, author of "Buyology": "How Apple And Gucci Tickle Your "God Spot"

As Martin well knows, advances in neurological research have allowed science to uncover more and more of our innate, hard-wired, universal tendencies, the need to 'believe in mysteries' being one of them.  The emergence of humankind's particular consciousness brought with it a lot of traits with it that helped us come to dominate the planet.  One that helps motivate us to gather together and communicate is an instinctual drive to figure out things we all don't quite understand.  Now that science has answered so many of the 'magical things' that were formerly inexplicable without blind faith in a mystical religion, an entire global generation is turning away from dogmatic established religions principally because they just don't need those explanations any more -- yet their brains still want to fill up that formerly adequately stimulated capacity for faith, dogma, rituals, weekly gatherings, a search for purpose outside of simple self-satisfaction (the goal of most teens) with something. 

Alongside of this 'need to believe' is an EXTREMELY compelling drive to become addicted to just about anything from gambling to sun tanning; from obsessive interests in stamp-collecting to anorexia.  70% of Americans have an unhealthy addiction to food.    In step brands that many, in at first what seems bizarre, but after linking an innate need 'to believe' with a deep seated tendency toward addiction seems almost to be expected, demonstrate a religious-like devotion to.  The brands add inexplicable 'meaning' to their lives, just as eating does for so many.  Now ponder that last snippet in light of people no longer attending church for a moment...

Here's my take (somewhat related) post on why Web 2.0 and "FREE" will soon go the way of the dodo bird as the religious zeal wears off:  http://t.co/vpsdmE4

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