Businesses can touch the spirit

What I loved about Kotler et al.’s Marketing 3.0 concept is that it called for brands to touch the human spirit. I wonder why they positioned Marketing 4.0 as more into the digital space, when it seemed to me that “touching the human spirit” is a greater and more noble endeavor that cuts across the physical or digital space.

It sounds idealistic, but it seems so heartwarming that businesses and brands can be authentic advocates (that may even be spiritually aligned with the Advocate). In a way, there is that “alchemy” where business, commercial, and functional value can be “transmuted” into something that flourishes one’s well-being.

However, can this kind of “touching of spirits” be feasible in a “post-truth” world, where we disregard logical truths and settle for convenient emotional truths? From a Catholic and Christian perspective, I do not think this is coherent. God (Jesus, Advocate, Love, Truth) serves as our anchor and reference; a sort of “objective truth” despite our subjective perceptions.

Yes, positioning happens in the mind of consumers. But the process of developing brands may be best perceived as a co-creative activity, where managers are “architects” and consumers are “users”, together with various communities and stakeholders that enable a brand to take life. Maybe the vocation of businesses and brands is to stimulate culture and society to seek truly good goods in the spirit of flourishing, not merely just a convenient pursuit of pleasure.

John 16:5-11. I will send (the Advocate) to you


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