Religion defines the ideals of life which in turn are reflected in the behavior, values, and attitudes of societies and individuals. Such values and attitudes shape the behavior and practices of institutions and members of cultures and are the most challenging for a marketer to adjust to. Religious beliefs and practices influence the customer’s perception of the environment.
Marketers should recognize that much of the “want-satisfying” nature of the product is derived from consumer perceptions. Satisfaction is the customer’s fulfillment response. It is the customer’s evaluation of a product or service in terms of whether the product or service meets their needs and expectations. Perceptions may be controlled by the socio-cultural factors in which religion fall under, for instance, Muslims prefer to blister packaged medicine in place of loose packs. This should be put into consideration when introducing new products to these markets. The same to alcohol-based products which are prohibited in Islam. Most cough syrups contain alcohol and thus many pharmaceutical firms are coming up with herbal cough syrups for such markets because of the religious beliefs and perceptions on alcohol taking.
Religion also affects the promotion and placement of products and service delivery. When beef or poultry is exported to an Islamic country, the animal must be killed in a halal method and be certified appropriately.
So, faith or religion-based marketing is an effective method in the world of marketing or in a country like Bangladesh where the majority of the people are believers.
In fact, religion is undoubtedly a very sensitive issue for the people of Bangladesh. Here, religion-based promotions or campaigns leave a great impact on consumers.
For example, in 1997, Aromatic ran an advertising campaign based on the tagline that their soap was “100% halal,” resulting in the brand becoming the number one soap brand in the country. It grabbed the top of mind salience of the consumers & thus grabbed major market share.
Examples of faith-based marketing
Faith-based or religion-based marketing/ product promotion can sometimes end up creating a permanent/ loyal consumer group. Let’s see the examples given below:
For this product, the brand’s target group of the consumer is Muslims. So, a group of customers may prefer this soap rather than buying any other brand’s soap thinking it as a halal one or as it connects more with their perception.
Sunsilk launched their new product line for women who wears hijab. No wonder this particular product has got a good amount of consumers who prefer this without thinking twice.
So, this is it! There is no scope of doubt that religion drives the behavior or decision of a consumer in many ways. Thus it would be a timeless decision for a brand to integrate religion in the marketing or promotion of a product.