Faith-based marketing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Faith-based marketing is the integration of religious faith into marketing and business.[1] Such agencies specialize in marketing faith-based products and creating partnerships that target specific groups, such as the family-based audience. In the United States this type of marketing can help reach Christians, who enjoy an estimated purchasing power of over $5.1 trillion a year.[2][3] Marketing research conducted by Nokia has shown that one of the most-desired features that adherent Muslims look for in cell phones is a Qibla finder that will orient them towards Mecca during prayer.[4] As the desire for religion-on-demand grows, more modern, technologically-advanced products are being designed to help believers maintain traditional religious practices.[5] Faith-based design allows companies to reach strong existing markets in new ways.

Market segments[edit]

Many Christian book and music titles have become successes in the mainstream world.[6] The best-selling Purpose Driven Life by Christian pastor Rick Warren became the bestselling hardback non-fiction book in history, and is the second most-translated book in the world, after the Bible.[7] In 2004, the Mel Gibson-directed The Passion of the Christ opened to $83.8M domestically and went on to gross $611M worldwide.[8] In 2014, the Christian films Son of God, Noah, Heaven Is for Real and God's Not Dead, enjoyed box-office success.[9][10] Faith-based marketing is also seen in the tourism industry. The UN World Tourism Organization estimates that 300 million to 330 million people a year participate in faith-based travel.[citation needed] The U.S. Travel Association reports that 25% of all travelers are interested in a spiritual vacation.[11]

Many companies incorporate faith-based ideas in their operations, mission statements, or even their packaging, subtly or overtly.[12]

Costs of faith-based marketing[edit]

Efforts to market or run a business based on religious faith can face unique challenges.

In 2012, Chick-fil-A, who has "made a name [for itself] promoting Christian principles in its charity work", drew controversy after its CEO Dan Cathy suggested that he opposed same-sex marriage, which led to protests.[13] Those protests did not appear to damage the company's sales.[14] Hobby Lobby, another Christian business,[15] filed a lawsuit, now styled Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby, arguing that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's mandate for coverage of emergency contraception violated their First Amendment, religious rights.[16] Oral arguments were heard by the Supreme Court of the United States in March 2014.


  1. ^ Hutchins, Bob; Stielstra, Greg (2009-04-06). Faith-Based Marketing: The Guide to Reaching 140 Million Christian Customers. John Wiley and Sons. ISBN 9780470483060. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  2. ^ Liza Porteus Viana. "Faith-Based Marketing Can Tap Into Powerful Consumer Base | Fox Small Business Center". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  3. ^ The 2007 Leisure Market Research Handbook. (2007). Faith Based Activities, p. 180-183.
  4. ^ Corbett, Sara (13 April 2008). "Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty?". New York Times Magazine.
  5. ^ Gorman, Carma R. (2009). "Religion on Demand: Faith-based Design". Design and Culture. 1 (1).
  6. ^ "The Great Christian Cash-In". TaipeiTimes. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
  7. ^ "Short Takes: Gauging the impact of 'Purpose Driven Life,' 10 years on – CNN Belief Blog - Blogs". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  8. ^ "'Noah', 'Son of God' Part of Recent Hollywood Faith-Based Film Trend -- But Will It Last?". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  9. ^ "Why Christians Now Rule Hollywood - The Daily Beast". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  10. ^ "Year of the faith films: Movies that tell stories of religion doing well at the box office - Washington Times". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  11. ^ "Travel Market Report :: Login". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  12. ^ "9 religious companies (besides Chick-fil-A)". CNN. Retrieved 2014-04-07.
  13. ^ "Chick-fil-A: Will the controversy hurt chain's expansion plans? -". Retrieved 2014-04-06.
  14. ^ Stafford, Leon (January 29, 2013). "Chick-fil-A keeps growing despite uproar". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2014-05-31.
  15. ^ Hutchins, p. 207
  16. ^ "Here’s what you need to know about the Hobby Lobby case". Retrieved 2014-04-06.

Further reading[edit]

  • Einstein, Mara (2007), Brands of Faith: Marketing Religion in a Commercial Age, London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0415409772
  • Van Wyk, K; Ratliffe, C (2007). "Developing and Marketing a Faith-Based Practice: Mission and Business". Journal of Psychology and Christianity. 26 (3): 246–250.