Our prayers have been answered: Amazon is delivering Buddhist priests to consumers in Japan. Yes, priests.
Some people are a bit conflicted by this, as the business is disrupting traditional funeral arrangements in Japan. However, many are also thrilled by the convenient option of having a priest delivered to their doors, making religion more accessible and affordable (the upfront, non-negotiable online price is around 35,000 yen versus a service ordered through a temple for a memorial at about 100,000 yen.) As people in modern Japan have become somewhat removed from traditional religion, some believe that “a little technological disruption may prove welcome.”
In the similar vein of companies like AirBnB and the startup, EatWith (which brings strangers together for dining experiences), brands are learning to how to create consumer togetherness – intimacy – through technology. A rise in tech-integrated personal products is no surprise – it’s something Mindshare’s been tracking through one of our Culture Vulture trends, Internet-Enabled Intimacy. This trend transpires from a combination of consumers feeing safer in the world, millennial trust, and more digital connections that fuel intimacy between strangers and friends alike.
From the outside, delivery of a priest may seem strange; however, the more intimate connections like this that brands create for consumers with technology, the more normal it will become. *Adds priest to cart.*
Photo via Mashable, courtesy of Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press