On June 26, 2012, Robin Hicks posted an article on the Australian media and marketing website Mumbrella that claimed Hillsong was ‘Australia’s most powerful brand’ (Hicks 2012). In it, Hicks lists some keys to Hillsong’s success, including, ‘the music brand Hillsong United’, ‘customer acquisition’, ‘messaging and language’, ‘the service (brand experience)’, and ‘brand story’. Marketers often look to Hillsong as an exemplar of (church) branding (e.g. Casidy 2018). But offerings alone do not inspire devotion, and in the conclusion to her article, Hicks points towards a deeper reason for Hillsong’s ‘power’:

And let’s be clear. The Hillsongers I have met, or who know [sic] through other people, are not brainwashed members of some cult. They are normal, intelligent people who have bought into a way of living. A brand. The difference between the Hillsong brand and others is that it is not just part of their life, like a Qantas flight or a Tim Tam. It is their life.

(Hicks 2012, my emphasis)