What branding has in common with religion

Religion gives meaning to life. So do brands. (The latter may or may not be a sad fact, depending on how aligned you are with organized religion.)

Here are some other similarities - drawing from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion) as the source; my thoughts in bullets.

"Religion is a set of common beliefs and practices generally held by a group of people....Religion also encompasses ancestral or cultural traditions, writings, history, and mythology, as well as personal faith and mystic experience."
  • Strong brands prescribe a set of values and practices (use of the product or service)
  • Strong brands have traditions and myths associated with them

"In the frame of...European religious thought, religions present a common quality, the "hallmark of patriarchal religious thought": the division of the world in two comprehensive domains, one sacred, the other profane."

  • Strong brands divide the world up into the sacred (those who use the brand) and the profane (those who don't)

"Religion is also often described as a 'way of life.'"

  • The brands that people are loyal to often describe their way of life

"'Religion' is sometimes used interchangeably with 'faith' or 'belief system,' but is more socially defined than that of personal convictions."

  • Brands are used by individuals but their meaning is defined socially.