Seth Godin had an interesting post concerning the President Bush’s remarks concerning intelligent design and evolution. I have no idea if Seth and I agree on this topic. That isn’t the point. I’ll get to the point later.
This is brilliant story telling in that it resonates with what a lot of people want to hear. It fits their worldview. It allays their fear of the unknown and resolves internal conflicts.
Of course it’s not “true.” Of course it’s not “science.” That doesn’t mean the idea isn’t popular and it doesn’t mean the idea won’t spread.
Wow, this made me think as I read the Washington Post story.
Bush’s comments were “irresponsible,” said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He said the president, by suggesting that students hear two viewpoints, “doesn’t understand that one is a religious viewpoint and one is a scientific viewpoint.”
Intelligent design may not be science, but I would argue that evolution is a religion. I’ll get to how this affects marketing in a moment, but stay with me here. Evolution supports a religious viewpoint as well as a scientific one. Like this article and Bush’s comments, most people pit evolution against the traditional Christian view. How can evolution proponents overcome this hurdle? By showing how evolution can support the majority’s religious viewpoint.
Back to marketing. Unless your product is religious in nature, you probably don’t think religion affects a person’s decision to buy it. Wrong. This issue can affect what textbooks are bought or even which school a child attends. A person’s religion can dictate whether someone eats at your restaurant if it contains a bar. They may not buy your cloting line because of the suggestive photos in your catalogue. Maybe their religion is based more on ecology than theology. In that case, your environmental friendliness may predispose their purchasing decision in your favor, even if what you sell has nothing to do with the environment (i.e. Ben and Jerry’s).
People’s core beliefs form their religion of buying. Seth calls this a worldview, but that word has been difficult for me to sink my teeth into. So, what is your customer’s “religion?” Do you know why they buy your product? Think beyond price. Think beyond basic needs like “they’re hungry.” How does your product fit into their religion of buying? Why do they believe in your product? Just like religion, if they didn’t believe it they wouldn’t buy it.