What still gives us guidance, in this period of invalid togetherness, in which religions become weaker and brands more powerful?
People used to express their personal views and beliefs through religious symbols. Today these religious symbols have been replaced by the logos of brands that they use visibly.
Research has shown that non-religious people have a greater preference for strong brand names. Brands take over the role of religions. Brands are the new churches.
While graduating for my bachelor of Arts at the Academy of Artemis, I have done research on how brands are taking over the role of religions. My fascination about this subject started during my upbringing. I’m born up in a creative family; my parents have been designers for more than thirty years.
During my internship at the ‘kids design department’ at WE Fashion, I have been wondering why they needed to change their collection so often. I noticed that their collection mostly consists of items that are similar to older designs. Changes are being made, like colours and patterns, but these changes are not necessarily improvements. Nowadays, people in Europa wear a garment for a mere average of seven times. Fashion is volatile.
This is different from what I see with Secrid. The designs are continuously improved which leads to small changes each year. This is ‘industrial evolution’. Users of the product are proud of its long lifetime.
So why do people always want something ‘new’, and when does a product represent personal value? People love material stuff, but not unconditionally. We throw it away too easily.
In the book 'Sapiens', author Yuval Noah Harari emphasises that Homo Sapiens is capable of fantasizing and assigning value to things. With this capability of fantasizing, people created and adhered to religions. In the past, belief was all about supernatural powers. Nowadays, we see that it’s mostly about a shared belief in matters like democracy, money and the belief in other brands. Believing in Apple means an aversion to Samsung, Adidas versus Puma, Ajax versus Feyenoord and BMW versus Audi.
Fase 1 is about creating awareness. The values and mission. The driving force. Why the brands make products the way it makes them. It’s not accepted anymore to be focussed on profit only.
Fase 2 is about creating vision. The way you see the world and its future. Your brand promise. When your consumers become believers, your brand transforms into a belief or even a religion.
Fase 3 is about creating stories. For most brands, products are still in the heart of their communication, but as the world is changing, we make a shift to meaningful stories to share our believes.
Fase 4 is about creating touch points. The look & feel. Commercial brands have stolen the hearts of the consumers. With the raise of awareness, we see a changing perception of beauty. People don’t accept photoshopped models but prefer real life persons. Even Louis Vuitton made this change with the last show by Virgil Abloh.
Fase 5 is about creating power. Nike believes in great sport. Apple believes in creative thinking and Louis Vuitton believes in social status. Today our belief system is polytheistic, like in the old days.