Branding Lessons Pope Francis Can Teach Us

The 7th episode of Branding Biz. Club is all about his holiness Pontiff – Pope Francis. He is one of the most popular people in the world, living in the smallest and most secured country on Earth. If you did not have the chance to watch it yet, you can find the entire episode on my YouTube Channel.

But why did I choose to talk about The Pope? I consider it fair enough to start by saying he is the CEO of the wealthiest organization on the globe – The Catholic Church. He is a personal brand worth being analyzed. When you are a public figure known worldwide, anything you say and do is used in your favor or against it. Moreover, if you are the current Pope of the Catholic Church, your PR, branding and marketing strategies are literally on a different level. A quick search on the Internet and you can rapidly find numerous information about what his beliefs are, what causes he stands for and many more. For the present study I have drawn 3 main conclusions concerning his personal brand.

Lesson 1 – Be humble and emphatic

He maintains an unpretentious manner, being humble and emphatic to others’ needs and grief. With the thought in mind that Jesus Christ’s most powerful message is mercy, he considers caring about others “a noble vocation” that improves the world by serving the common good. At nights he sneaks out of Vatican dressed as a common man and helps the needy. He even donated his own Harley Davidson to a Catholic charity which funded a soup kitchen and hostel.

He had also given up on his limos, now having his own specially designed Popemobile used for public appearances. He even gave a ride to a Down syndrome teenager who was pointing towards the car. Moreover, as any respectful public figure should do, he randomly calls people who send him letters, as long as they do not ask for favors or talk about touchy subjects involving the Vatican’s policy or scandals. By involving in people’s lives and showing you care draws sympathy and transforms you into a reliable source.

Lesson 2 – Be authentic

Dare to be yourself. Compared to his predecessors, he wears vestments void of ornamentation and the same iron pectoral cross that he had worn as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. He had also chosen silver instead of gold for his piscatory ring. Pope Francis broke a long tradition by washing the feet of two women and two Muslims during a holy service in a prison, event that changed and reinterpreted the traditional norms known at the time.

He is a business himself. The Pope is an inspiration even for the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club which has his name on their jerseys. Once you start building your image, synchronize all the elements around it so that your audience knows exactly who you are and stay committed to it.

Lesson 3 – Fight for the greater good

Pope Francis employed austere measures and urged officials to dress more modestly. Even while he continues to support the traditional teachings, he repeatedly denounces the judgment against homosexuals, embracing change.

At an annual forum which gathers highly global elite to network, Pope Francis declared that the world’s leaders should adopt a new and better “political and business mentality”, helping the poor and the vulnerable. He said: “I ask you to ensure humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it”. Another deed that brought attention was inviting homeless men to his birthday meal. Having a mission is important, but knowing how to make this trait valuable and have the power to make a change is pure professionalism and commitment, regardless your area of expertise.

I hope these lessons will inspire you and empower you to create an impeccable personal brand. Should you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact me or the members of my team at

On December 11, 2017

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