Are Brands Officially More Powerful Than Religion?

It’s official: the Branding Renaissance of the 80’s and 90’s may have changed civilization forever. A monumental study by the largest PR firm in the world, Edelman, shows “Brand preference ranks with religion and ethnicity as top personal identifiers” for Millennials (people born between 1980-1995).

This the the most obvious logical conclusion for a crop of human beings whose critical developmental years were spent viewing hundreds of thousands of Nike (NKE) and McDonald’s (MCD) commercials. Basically, Millennials are a generation which had about as much exposure to Michael Jordan as Jesus Christ (or any other religious icon).

What Does This Mean for the Future?

In the short term, this means brands have more power than ever when it comes to becoming a meaningful source of identity building. This, of course, means they can sell more stuff and tend to their customers more like a personal garden than a bunch of passersby in the marketplace.

In the mid term, this means emerging sciences such as neuromarketing may become the most powerful force ever known to a human brain.

In the long term, if you think of religion as a brand, “secular” brands will most likely continue to gain influence and identity-share at the expense of religion. There are still only 24 hours in a day and one brain per person. That makes for finite space when it comes to managing multiple identities.

Remember the Millennials. They now mark a very significant transition in history …