Story URL: http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=37561
Story Retrieval Date: 12/10/2013 6:47:59 AM CST
Meg Tirrell/Medill News Service
Adding a dose of faith to business may seem like a sin to many companies, but some are successfully marrying religion and marketing.
These companies, including Starbucks Corp. and retailer Forever 21 Inc., supersize spirituality by displaying Bible scripture on soda cups and shopping bags, quoting prominent religious figures on merchandise, or sponsoring events devoted to religious outpouring.
But not all patrons are happy to have their shopping experience touched by a religious one, so some campaigns have met complaints from both religious and non-religious customers.
“It’s a very unusual approach, and most marketers steer clear of religion,” said Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
“But, there’s also a desperate bid for businesses to differentiate themselves; religion provides one way to do that,” he explained. “I think the challenge is to pull it off credibly.”