What becomes sacred to the consumer: Implications for marketers

Robert M. Schindler, Elizabeth A. Minton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In their classic 1989 consumer-research paper, Belk, Wallendorf, and Sherry illustrated how the sacred can be seen in the consumption of everyday products and services. We extend their work by arguing that sacredness is intimately connected with the human experience of strong positive feelings and that the study of everyday sacredness can contribute to our understanding of such feelings. As marketing influence involves enhancing strong positive feelings in customers, we propose that Belk et al.’s twelve properties of the sacred can be used as a framework for guiding marketing influence, and we introduce a new thirteenth property. We illustrate guidance for marketing influence with detailed descriptions of a sacred brand and a success in social marketing. We discuss the implications of these sacredness-based influence techniques for facilitating special, valuable, and powerful customer-brand relationships as well as for accomplishing social change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-365
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Business Research
StatePublished - Nov 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


  • Consumer feelings
  • Customer-brand relationships
  • Marketing influence
  • Sacred consumption
  • Social marketing


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