Perhaps the greatest achievement is the intersection of the consecrated with the commonplace, the mutual compatibility between faith and science for the good of all of humanity.
As a matter of business success, this union is often a niche category: Picture various religious tracts by ministers and clergymen, which try to apply Biblical principles to things like leadership or improved self-confidence, or better parenting or personal empowerment.
As books or DVDs, these products can generate tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in sales; transforming the collared pastor into a jacket-and-tie CEO for a multimedia empire with a series of books and lucrative speaking engagements, which are a variation on a single theme; posting the author’s face, online and in bookstores nationwide, alongside celebrity writers and TV hosts who have their own respective kingdoms of print and digital commerce.
The problem, however, is that the original idea – the inherently spiritual catalyst for most of these projects – becomes an afterthought, reducing any religious symbolism or iconography into nothing more than a glorified logo for yet another brand.
To be clear: I congratulate these men and women for their resourcefulness; but I believe that, as a matter of religious belief, the connection to something of faith and practical value is tenuous, at best, and non-existent, at worst.
The exceptions, in contrast, are, well, exceptional; they neither sacrifice their foundational ideals, nor do they limit themselves to one community of religious supporters, regardless of how large and influential that group may be.
Take, for instance, TIMEZ5™ , which serves as a conventional Muslim prayer mat . . . with NASA-inspired properties for maximum resilience regarding absorption, adaptive weight transfer and bearing.
I cite TIMEZ5™ because the product furthers a daily religious custom, and, as the ultimate example of transcendent faith, transcends one faith to unite people of all interests. Its versatility, which includes antimicrobial and heat resistant features, is a testament to ingenuity and practicality.
Let me also offer this point of clarification concerning TIMEZ5™: I am not an employee of or an investor in the company.
I am, through my own research and determination to find a business that closes the chasm between the sacred and secular, a fan.
I recognize the utility of the same mat for individuals like yoga and exercise enthusiasts, as well as travelers and medical patients susceptible to antibiotic-resistant and hospital-borne infections.
A Universal Message of Humanity: Innovation by Words and Actions
The universal message behind this story is, in the end, a tale about the universal nature of mankind.
That is, for every great business there is a core group of loyalists; they share a set of beliefs, or commit themselves to upholding those beliefs, while the object of their devotion also appeals to a much broader spectrum of consumers.
This something-special-for-everyone approach to product design and development is a wise move because, on the one hand, it highlights (in the case of TIMEZ5™) the inclusiveness of a particular faith or worldview; and secondly, it introduces people to issues that coincide with their most solemn truths.
The key to enhancing this bond between the consecrated and the commonplace rests with effective communications. Or: Preach the sanctity of your product and the integrity of your service.
Put yourself forth, through the sincerity of your convictions and the strength of your credentials, as someone worthy of trust. Stand with pride, and extend a hand to every consumer.
Speak your version of holiness – and let your product, and the subsequent word-of-mouth marketing from buyers, do the rest.
The rewards will be great, personally and professionally.
Lewis Fein is an independent marketing and media relations consultant, based in Southern California. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.