MARKETING OF PRODUCTS SOLD BY SPIRITUAL ORGANIZATIONS

MARKETING OF PRODUCTS SOLD BY SPIRITUAL ORGANIZATIONS: AN ANALYSIS INTRODUCTION From spiritual books to candles, from aromatherapy to self care products, spirituality may be a business today. We see Oprah Winfrey,(the famous American chat show host who has been regarded repeatedly together of the influential woman within the world) commercializes faith on a daily basis by helping her viewers in “connecting to their higher self.” Spirituality has been studied in management but it still remains under researched within the domains of selling . Many studies link spirituality to happiness and well being. And marketers today don’t shy away in reaping the benefits of it. They are fast realizing the necessity to satisfy the consumer’s search for purpose and meaning in life by adding a tinge of spirituality in selling their products. Consumer’s spiritual needs are addressed along side physical needs. This offers an inexhaustible void to be filled and provides excellent marketing niche to be capitalized. it’s getting used even in branding of materialistic goods like soft drinks and car etc. for instance “You can deprive the body, but the soul needs chocolate” (Dagoba Organic Chocolate), “Yoga inspired athletic wear” (Lululemon Athletica) Spirituality can be sold as a profitable product as consumers consider brands and pictures more essential than the functionality of the merchandise . what’s Spirituality? The definition of spirituality is vague and has been debated over by scholars in various disciplines like philosophy, management and psychology. Spirituality springs from the basis spiritus which suggests breath- pertaining to the breath of life. Scholars define it in two patterns: The first is in the structured form of religion which is mainly associated with practicing traditional rituals and services. The other is the highly individualistic way of finding deeper meaning and connection to something above the standard life. This paper narrows the main target on the latter sort of spirituality. Contemporary spiritual consumer follows this spirituality which is different from institutional religion. This new age spirituality defines various things to different people. To some it means finding answers to metaphysical questions. To others it means using environment friendly organic products or a lifestyle
involving herbal and ayurvedic products or incorporating ancient practices of yoga, t’ai chi and pranayam. While some associate the word with a particular sorts of books, music, aromatherapy and holistic treatments. In brief phrases like “seeking deeper meaning” “connect to higher purpose” “holistic development” “conscious living” “mind body spirit” define the term new age spirituality. Spirituality in marketing Spiritual market may be a hugely growing industry. India’s estimated spiritual and non secular market is over $30 billion dollars. Its not uncommon to come across innovative ventures like Onlineprasad.com which delivers prasad from different temples. it’s a network of fifty temples and promises to deliver prasad anywhere in the whole country. Not only this, its founder Goonjan Mall has launched Zevotion, a brand which offers certified rudraksha beads and other yantras. It primarily comprises of upper income educated females. Studies acknowledged that ladies comprise two third of active spiritual consumers, but men’s and youth market is additionally growing. Empirical study says that children are an enormous marketplace for incense sticks and burners. Sale of candles, body care products, aromatherapy items, books, home decor merchandise and jewellery are the drivers of this growth. Consumers are reminded of the right type of yoga wear (Lululemon Athletica), fragrance oil to meditate and relax and create soothing stress free environment. it’s boosted the sale of Buddha statues rosary and lots of more. Spiritual organisations selling consumer products, Spiritual gurus and organisations “show the proper path” not only through their teachings but also through their products. Hence it’s not uncommon to seek out product brands launched by them. There is a huge demand for products ranging from products like fashionable Osho slippers, Patanjali’s and Art of living’s line of body care products. These brands have created a distinct segment for themselves within the market. consistent with industry observers these products have potential to offer competition to top notch brands within the business. for instance Baba ramdev Swadeshi brand features a market worth Rs 2,000 crore and quite 4000 outlets in 2015 as compared to around 150 in 2012. A Times of India report sayss, Patanjali had a turnover of Rs1200 crore in fiscal year 2015. This huge success of the brand is not surprising as its products are 30% cheaper than products of mainstream MNC’s like HUL and P&G. Organisations like these are widening their reach in the production and distribution of those consumer goods. Further some have entered into backward integration to source staple also. Once sold only at their ashrams or particular outlets, today they are often found online or in supermarkets or in kirana stores. Giant retailer Spencer plans to offer more shelf space in its store to those brands. While FMCG companies must invest tons of your time , effort and money in branding and advertising of their products, these spiritual gurus have already got devotees as their loyal consumer base.

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