Easter is one of the holiest of holidays for Christians. And with Easter’s roots in antiquity, we can see why the symbolism of this holiday continues to give succor and hope to believers today. But Easter is also a holiday that resonates for secular audiences. You just have to know your market.
Easter derives its name from Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring. As happened with many pagan holidays, early Christians saw an opportunity. Around the second century CE they began absorbing Eostre’s meaning into their own story of Christ’s death and resurrection. It was the holiday that spoke to the core of the human experience: that death was merely transitory and that life—whether in this world or the next–prevailed. So the most heralded and cherished concept of the Christian faith became entwined with Eostre, which itself commemorated life triumphing over death. By correlating the stories over time, the fledgling Christian church not only gained a popular holiday, but also converts. Forget today’s marketing calibrations for brand loyalty, return on investment and predictive validity. This early social marketing by enterprising Christians is a case study of excellence in branding. What better than a holiday celebrating life over death? What smarter business plan than capitalizing on the success and market share held by your competitor, in this case, Eostre celebrants? Continue reading