Brand of Love
Look down at your shirt for a moment. Is there a little emblem on the pocket? Or perhaps you have a certain swoosh on your tennis shoes or distinctive rivets on your jeans. If you’re drinking coffee while reading this chapter, is there a green circle on the cup? If you’re sitting at the table, is Tony the Tiger nearby?...
These are examples of “branding”—a marketing strategy by which companies give their products distinctive identities. A brand is a collection of images and ideas that symbolize a particular product or company. What comes to mind, for instance, when you think of a set of golden arches, a little Apple with a bite missing, or, if you’re a football fan, a big blue/gray star with white trim?
Companies are no longer interested in creating a product; they want to establish a brand—a distinctive, instantly recognizable identity that strikes positive chords in the consumer and that can be extended to new products. Branding tries to sell a feeling as much as a product, and companies spend millions of dollars on establishing just the right symbol, slogan, color scheme, and package design for branding a product, an author, a company, or a concept.
What about a brand called YOU?
What’s distinctive about you? What feeling do others have when they think of you? What do your appearance, attitudes, and activities communicate to others? What make you different from the rest?
Long before Starbucks, Nike, or Apple Computer, Jesus Christ understood the importance of branding, and He designed a particular “look” for all His disciples. He wanted to give them a definite identity, which He explained in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Jesus’ love is a brand more powerful than any every concocted by Madison Avenue, and this Christlike love is so important that without it, nothing else in our lives rings true. . .
David Jeremiah, Signs of Life, p. 225