Photo by Erika Smith via Flickr
Jewish men are commanded to pray every day at fixed times. Women are not because we are exempt from time-bound commandments.
The prayers are fixed too. The words or method of saying them may vary by denomination or congregation. But the point is ritual: Within that brand, always to repeat the same words of appreciation, of repentance, of praise.
I always wondered how ritualizing prayer made sense. When you are pouring your heart out to God, shouldn't it be spontaneous? Otherwise you are just mumbling anytime you just aren't in the mood to pray. Aren't you?
It is the same thing with brand. If you are pouring out your fanatical desire to serve the customer, shouldn't it be spontaneous as well? Otherwise you are just going through the motions. Nobody is "on" all the time.
No and no.
We ritualize prayer, and brand, for a very simple reason. You don't feel the emotions before saying the words. The words are supposed to stir you to feel the emotion!
We wear the uniform, we post the sign, we arrange things just so on the plate, we use that particular color and logo and tagline - to REMIND ourselves of what we are doing there.
Religion and brand begin with spontaneity, sincerity, heartfelt commitment. But they are reinforced and maintained through ritual. And in particular, ritual words that stir us up to service.
Have a good day everyone, and good luck!