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What Is Spirituality? And Why Does It Matter?

Most Americans Aspire to Be More Spiritual

Recently published research showed that spirituality is related to earthly action. The research makes clear that American adults span a wide range of how they see themselves and the world, and how their daily life is affected by their views on religion and spirituality. At Spirituality & Health we are inspired by the importance placed on spirituality by Americans. And we are determined to help you learn how to synchronize your messaging with the spirituality of your market.

Last May we launched this blog and email in service to marketers in the natural health and spirituality market; some call it the LOHAS market with this commentary on new research from Pew reporting on Americans’ views on religion and spirituality. Now we can add more about what ‘spirituality’ really means to Americans.

The “Study of Spirituality in the United States,” conducted by the Fetzer Institute was based on in-depth interviews, focus groups, and a representative national sample of 3609 adults 18+ by web and phone:

  • More than 80% of people consider themselves spiritual to some extent. Almost 50% say they have become more spiritual over their lives.
  • “The study surfaced two bridges that connect spirituality and prosocial action: a strong sense of connection to all of humanity, and a sense of accountability to a higher power.”

While most Americans consider themselves either spiritual or religious, organized religion appears to have less engagement with adults than spirituality: 14% say they are very religious, but 21% say they are very spiritual. And while 63% say they are very or moderately spiritual, only 49% say they are very or moderately religious.

The most interesting finding, for us, is the relationship of activities to spirituality. It’s no surprise that some Americans generally associated attending a religious service as “spiritual.” It is interesting that reading (50%), art (like singing or painting) (50%), and being in nature (41%) are all considered “spiritual” by more Americans than attending that service (32%).

The most actionable results of this survey may be that 61% of Americans aspire to be more spiritual. This leads us to the conclusion that advertising creative-messaging that connects with or supports your market’s desire for spirituality will be “aspirational”; working in the same way that other aspirational-to-affluence or aspirational-to-sexiness works in other advertising.

To put more spirituality in your marketing, contact us for a proposal to help you build a base of influential customers—or just to learn more. It will be time well spent.

Ann Reed: [email protected]
Tabetha Reed: [email protected]
Peter Lymbertos: [email protected]

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