Monday, December 6, 2010

Brand- Muse 3

This word is a part of life for anyone in marketing, heck anyone driving down the highway...  It runs off the tips of my fingers many a times when writing to potential sponsors this time of year.  The practice of branding goes back to burning a mark or a symbol onto whatever you own so that people know you own it, cattle, slaves, stuff etc...

Today we have mental images marked into us, we are marked by “brands” to make sure an association occurs in our heads with a type of product we desire and the brand who provides it.  This is not a criticism in anyway, I especially like it when a brand is known for delivering desirable and quality products.  The knee-jerk reaction of emotion or feeling that images can bring along with them, when the association is good, is something I enjoy and is a part of human sentimentality.  If people can make money off of quality products and attach the experience of those products to an image that sells it, way to go!

What begins to bother us is when we feel we have been duped by an image/brand on our minds.  There is this mental reaction that does not match the products experience.  Eventually the truth comes out and the brand loses its appeal, or people lie to themselves to continue an allegiance to the image rather than adjust their mind to the experience.  What does the brand actually lose though?  Faith and Trust.  This is at the center of every brand association we have, our faith and trust in that image to represent a quality product we desire.  Sure faith and trust can be built by seeing an image over and over again and there can be a general consensus that this image represents a good product, but eventually an experience or result of that product needs to happen when a certain type of product is desired.  If it fails miserably to deliver, the brand loses faith and trust. 

So what the heck does this have to do with Christmas?  So many people I know are disillusioned about Jesus, God, and the Church.  Faith and Trust has been lost.  Now the Brand (“Jesus”, “God”, “Christianity”) we have etched in our minds is so far from the desired product, it is like calling McDonald’s French Fries “Potatoes”.  Vice Versa, the product we produce fails to deliver so often, whether it be real “right-now” encounters with God, or happy families with wholesome marriages, love that lays it life down for another, Joy, Peace, Self-Control, the product so often is just missing.  This analogy is always good too…

Christmas is incarnation, “makes His dwelling among us” Claiming a Brand to a Product we just don’t have, we create religion with its brands and religious products that will fade and lose faith and trust, being perishable man made artifacts.  They make us feel good for a while, but they will not last.  The actual desired Product has a Brand written in God’s “eternal qualities and divine nature, being seen in that which has been made”  it has a product that lives, breathes, and acts as He did when He came to earth to show us how to live.  No wonder the first command was not to make images/brands of god, we screw it up so often, we tend to make it after our own image for superficial products we desire. 

Letting go of my products and images in exchange for God’s can be tough, that is why Christmas is holistic, it is incarnation to an entire life…but as anyone who knows me personally can tell you, I rarely eat McDonald’s French Fries….I really try to and like to stick with Potatoes…

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