Among the Faithful: Religiosity in Brand Communities

This research explores scrupulously faithful brand consumers across multiple product categories and their use of religious motifs in brand-related discourse. Examining brand communities centered on Apple Newton, iPod, Cannon, Mini Cooper, Stri-Vectin, and Xena: Warrior Princess, we find that consumers practice strict devotion and engage in behaviors often reserved for sacred affiliations. These behaviors include: fervor and moral commitment toward the brand, evangelizing, and sharing tales of miraculous product performance. These behaviors invest the brand with powerful meanings and perpetuate the brand, the brand community, its values and its beliefs. The religious motifs also reflect and facilitate the many transformative and emancipatory aspects of consuming these brands. Our findings reveal important properties of brand communities and, at a deeper level, speak to the communal nature of religion and the enduring human need for religious affiliation.


Malcolm Smith, Lynn Kahle, and Kristina Frankenberger (2005) ,"Among the Faithful: Religiosity in Brand Communities", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7, eds. Karin M. Ekstrom and Helene Brembeck, Goteborg, Sweden : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 228-228.


Malcolm Smith, University of Manitoba
Lynn Kahle, University of Oregon
Kristina Frankenberger, Western Oregon University


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7 | 2005

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