How to revitalize a fading brand: the Roman Catholic Church

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Image credit: Wired

For nearly a thousand years the Roman Catholic Church (henceforth RCC Inc.) was the greatest commercial enterprise in human history. Today, it’s a sad and faded echo of its former self. Our brief: to propose a business strategy that will return RCC Inc. to a position of market dominance and restore its bottom line.

Let’s begin with current assets:

· One billion two hundred thousand customers, most of whom are still brand-loyal despite all the negative messaging that’s happened over the last few decades

· More than eight billion dollars in cash, plus another forty billion or so in real-estate

· A well-known brand and significant intellectual property in iconography and fictional works

Moving on, we need to accept the fact that previous management has made significant mistakes that have greatly crippled RCC Inc’s market position:

· Discontinued products that were making a significant contribution to the bottom line

· Failure to adequately suppress negative publicity about Church policies of habitual child abuse and pedophilia

· Failure to respond adequately to new market entrants, especially those with greater commercial appeal (e.g. Evangelicals, Baptists, New Age Spiritualists, Populists/Nationalist)

· Regular appointment of inadequate CEOs and a highly dysfunctional group of senior executives who spend their time fighting each other rather than focusing on how to sell to the customer base

It’s clear that there is a great an opportunity to turn this fading brand around, but unless we act with vigor and determination, RCC Inc. may see further erosion of its core market as competitors lure its customers away.

Our recommended strategy involves the following high-level actions:

· Immediately restore high-margin products such as Pardons and Indulgences. Our financial models indicate this will yield an additional $4 billion per year straight to the bottom line

· Copywrite and trademark core intellectual property, e.g. Heaven, Hell, Saints, Jesus, God, and Holy Spirit

· Use social media and traditional media to push a favorable narrative regarding previously unfavorable data: e.g. Our traditional policies of sexually abusing helpless children are in fact designed to ensure they grow up with strong moral values and, at the end of their lives, are accepted immediately into Heaven™

· Counter the appeal of competitive offerings by shortening length of Mass, and include popular music such as rap: That mother*cker Jesus/He came down here to please us/So yo bitch start praying/You all know what I’m sayin’

· Upgrade current website, create smartphone app games that are addictive such as Nail The Jesus and Name That Saint (for which of course annual subscriptions can be charged)

· Appoint a new and charismatic CEO who can be relied on to stay on message, and replace the current executive team with senior people drawn from the worlds of management consulting, investment banking, and social media marketing. RCC Inc’s traditional relationships with the Italian mafia will of course remain unchanged

Additional actions for a Phase Two Makeover include:

· Renting out properties for raves, pop concerts, political rallies, public executions, and other suitable events

· Creating a fashion brand subsidiary (note: plenty of retail space is available using current real-estate assets)

· Circulating a price-list among right-wing demagogues indicating the cost of RCC Inc. support, instead of as per tradition giving this away for free

We’re confident that if these recommendations are put into effect, RCC Inc. can regain lost market share and significantly increase its net margins. A huge and loyal base of ignorant and simple-minded customers means that RCC Inc. has the channel capacity to push a lot of additional product provided it’s priced appropriately per geographic segment.

Accordingly we recommend breaking the world into the following regions:

· North America (premium pricing)

· South America (discount pricing)

· Asia (tiered pricing)

· Europe (testing required to determine price-elasticity function)

· Africa (discount pricing)

Between 1945 and 2015 the global political environment was unfavorable to RCC Inc’s default position of supporting right-wing demagogues. Fortunately the tide has now turned and so RCC Inc. can leverage this traditional strength in return for generous donations to its Peace & Stability Fund.

In short, we feel the world is ready for a resurgence of RCC Inc’s core values. We look forward to working on this engagement with you over the coming decades.

We’re sure it’s what Jesus would want.

Sincerely,

Top Management Consulting Inc.

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