Episode 1

Discovering the Power of Rituals in Marketing

We kicked off our first episode with a marketing topic: The concept of Rituals in commercial culture.


Welcoming Our Guests

We were honored to welcome special guests eager to discuss Rituals in commercial culture.

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Dr. Martina Olbertova is a leading expert on brand meaning and cultural relevance around the globe. As a writer, speaker, strategist and cultural consultant, she educates brand and business leaders on how to be culturally savvy and capitalize on culture change. As a social scientist and semiotician, Martina is interested in the power of ritual and the symbolic dimension of brands and marketing. She works with brands to create meaningful value and long-term equity to make their behavior ritualized in culture.


Matt T. Grant is Vice President, Content at Scratch Marketing + Media and his interests include content marketing, organizational behavior, and corporate education. Matt expressed curiosity about how marketers can re-create pre-industrial ritual sacred spaces within a wholly commercial environment and ways marketers might tap into and harness the human inclination toward ritual.


Hilton Barbour has worked with some of the world’s most demanding Fortune 100 companies and some of the feistiest start-ups. He brings a unique perspective to every engagement. He believes an organization’s culture is how it makes decisions and making them in a consistent and cogent fashion requires a degree of ritualization. Rituals impact how organizations innovate, debate, create a space for discussion, and celebrate and recognize success or barriers. Some rituals advance and others are impediments.


Matt Hames is Associate VP of digital strategy at 3 Enrollment and is a pioneer in social and digital media for Higher Education. As a thought leader and speaker, he focuses on emerging trends and consumer behavior. He is intrigued by the broad definition applied to the term “ritual.” He wonders why organizations behave as they do and how rituals might evolve our thoughts.



It is fascinating to experience the implication and strangeness of a word taken out of its traditional context and applying it to another world. It is a reminder of the leap of faith we must take to expand our understanding of the world.

Ritual in commercial culture brings a new understanding of customer behaviors and branding.

With the deliberate incorporation of meaningful rituals, a brand is much more than a logo and tagline. Business rituals communicate a sense of purpose and give customers and employees the feeling of being “branded” - becoming part of a herd of common identity with organizations, communities and other individuals.

This common identity is valued by consumers and affects their buying behavior more than convenience or pricing.


It is important for leaders to recognize and manage rituals so they are not cast aside or unintentionally changed to the point of becoming meaningless.


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