Marketing the PKN: An Analysis of the PKN's Missionary Work in the Light of 'Faith Branding'
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Religion and marketing are more alike than one might expect: both aim to make others see the truth that they see. Since the foundation of the Dutch Protestant Church (PKN), the church congregation has focused on missionary work (evangelising), but decreased in members despite it. This thesis investigates the missionary work of the PKN and discusses to what extent the PKN can be regarded as a ‘faith brand’. By looking at the PKN website, reports the PKN has published and taking interviews, the research shows how the PKN conducts missionary work. These data are analysed using Mara Einstein’s concept of ‘faith branding’. The relation between the concepts of ‘marketing’, ‘faith branding’, ‘evangelising’ and ‘missionary work’ are explored and then clarified by discussing three examples of faith brands in the US. The emphasis lays on creating an understanding of how of the PKN as an overarching organisation creates a brand image and how three local churches feel about that. The thesis argues that there seems to be a difference between the identity of the overarching organisation and the way the local churches identify themselves as represented by the churches interviewed.