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Marketing Monday: The U2Charist

Hey again! It's Monday which means that, it's time to talk about some interesting marketing that I've seen lately and see what you guys think about it.

Remember last week when I told you to always keep your eyes open for great marketing? Where I found this week's marketing example is a little unusual.  I found it at church. But, before I get harassed about it – let me tell you one thing.

Churches ARE Businesses.

They need to bring in a constant supply of money if they want to do things like…

1. Pay a minister and staff.

2. Pay electricity bills.

3. Do mission work – trips, soup kitchens, etc.

4. Advertise – to bring in new members.

And, that's just a few of their expenses.

So, they're constantly brainstorming how to get new members and new money – just like we are in our businesses. They've got to figure out what their USP (Unique Selling Proposition) is compared to other denominations – AND compared to other churches in the community that are the same denomination.

WHAT makes them special? HOW can they stand out if they want to bring in enough money to do amazing things and help their community?

Hopefully in our businesses we're thinking the same thing.

This is what I ask myself on a regular basis:

What makes me special and my business unique?

How can I best help others while making the web a better place?

By doing the above how can I most effectively and efficiently create enough abundance for myself that I can share more and more with others to make the world a better place?

So, what's this all about? My friend, Sheila, called me on Thursday and asked if I wanted to go to the 11 oclock service at our church and then go to the Gulf of Mexico for brunch. I'd been slack in going to church for a bit, and said “Sure”.

She then proceeded to tell me that it was the U2charist. That's where she lost me.

She said “You know, U2, right?”

I said “The Band?”.

She said “Yes, our Banner band at church is going to be playing the music of U2 during the service.”

THEN I was intrigued. 🙂 I thought “What the heck?! I've gotta see this.”

So, we planned to go to the 11 oclock service. She said “Get there early. Last time they did it, it was packed !” Was it ever!

The U2Charist.

Here's a scan of a few pages of the church program for the service. I thought you'd enjoy it.

Cover page with cool design:

First page with explanation:

Second page just to show you a bit more:

Now my church didn't invent this. You can see the history here: History of EU2Charist at Wikipedia.

And, apparently, U2 is ok with this – as long as funds are being raised to help the Millennium Development Goals.

Business Lessons?

There are a few business and marketing lessons to be learned here, I think.

1. This got free advertising. The church got lots of free press in the local papers.

2. It caused a bit of controversy — which got even more press.

3. It was a limited time offer. One weekend. Go or miss it.

4. Creativity along with Curiosity is the magic to get you free viral marketing. Sheila told me and several others without being compensated – obviously.

Please share your thoughts and, especially how this applies in how you run your business. Have you learned any marketing lessons from your church?

Nicole Dean

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Andrea

    Love this!! I see so many of those same things at church (and many other places too). Our pastor will often do series’ of messages. Well, each message is a tease for the next. So, it’s drip marketing. You can’t miss the next sermon because you will miss the important lesson that will change your life. And he often refers back to previous messages.

    And, oh em gee, I just realized something! They also record the sermons. So, you can hear it live or you can download the sermon to your mp3 (or get a cd for a small fee). The thing they are missing are transcripts. Hmmm, I guess I should suggest that one! HA

  • Down Or Just Me

    How interesting!! This definitely would have brought me to church too, even though I don’t go nearly as often as I should… What a great idea!


  • Xarah

    Very good post. I got me thinking, not for my business but for my choir. We are in dire need of new members, active ones, too who want to participate in the choir actively. I’ll get the “What makes us special and our choir unique-question” to the “managing board”. Thanks for that push 😉

  • The Mom

    Awesome! And, yes, Churches do have to market. So, will they be making a video available to purchase to raise even more money??? hmmmm???

  • Felicia Slattery

    I was totally stuck on U2 charist and how the heck to say it– then I realized it’s Eucharist with U@ in front — very clever naming! (Takes me longer than most sometimes!! LOL).

    So one other thing you forgot to mention was having a memorable name for their branded product. Sure there are bunches of Methodist churches and I don’t even remember the name of this one unless I scrolled up to see it, but U2charist is definitely memorable. For people to remember your product or service, you’ve got to name it something catchy and distinctive.

    In fact your site “Nicole on the Net” is catchy, distinctive, memorable and is about you all in one short phrase. So here you are again practicing what you preach (good metaphor for this post, right!? 😉 )

    Felicia Slattery

  • William

    This was so over the top in cool, We should all see light bulbs going off in our Heads.This is a Great pr. Perhaps a lesson for NAMS7
    I don’t get to Church near as often as I get to Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) for Brunch, maybe I should get out and about on Sundays more often.
    Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark this page, to remind myself that thinking out side the box, means moving completely away from the box sometimes.
    oh, and Hi from Wisconsin.

  • Stephanie Rainbow Bell

    Thanks for sharing this! And I love the idea of sharing notable marketing you have observed each week! It’s helpful to see “principles” put into “practice” !!!

    Rainbow Blessings!

    P.S. I sent the link to my friends on the board at

  • Nancy Marmolejo

    I want to go to church with you Nicole! And go to a U2 concert… you got me thinking on all angles. Thanks for sharing that!

  • Emily

    I love your analogy between a church and an ethical online biz. Gotta say, though, that I’ll bet a lot of old folks were absent from the U2 service.

  • Mano Rame

    Some valuable marketing lessons here.

    When Robert Caldini researched for his book – Influence and Psychology of Persuasion he studied churches and charity organizations to see how they operated and how they got their message across to people.

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