When I hear the names of certain brands there are always vivid images, emotions and stereo-types that flood my mind. Some of them negative and some positive. Why is that? What is it that makes us loyal to a brand, and what makes us throw a brand name aside to save money on a “generic brand”…which ironically is actually a brand in and of itself?
One of my “hobbies” is marketing, advertising and teaching people and churches about how to protect their personal brand. Yes, I said personal brand…because whether you want to admit it or not…all of us have a brand. When people hear your name or see your church/ministry, there are certain emotions, images and stereo-types that come to mind when they think about you and what you represent.
One of the characteristics that make a brand so powerful is consistency and familiarity. Most people don’t like surprises. Sure we all like to try new things, but when it comes to commitment…we usually choose those things we are familiar with and those that have brought us good experiences. Think about it.
Why do you love to go to a certain restaurant? Probably because you eat there a lot, you order the same thing every time and your experience there have always been positive. Why do some people always turn down your invitation to church? Usually it is because they have had a bad experience in the past with churches, or someone who represented God or religion to them…or they say no because they…this may be hard to swallow…they don’t like you.
All of us have a brand, and protecting that brand is key to whether or not those around us, including or kids and family, buy into what we represent. Are you a parent and find that your kids want nothing to do with your church thing? It could be the brand. Does you spouse find it hard to trust you at times? It could be the brand. Do you find yourself working like a dog at work and never seem to get noticed or get that promotion? It could be the brand.
Marketing and advertising can be a cut-throat business. Why? Because it deals with rejection and being accepted by others. But it’s not the consumers fault. Many times a brand is rejected because there is just something about the brand or company that turns people off. The business has to make a decision. Change…and that is hard to do…BUT…can have big rewards.
I will end though by saying that some brands shouldn’t change. Why? Because what they do or represent is good, true and eternal. If the consumers in this world, don’t like it…so be it…because that’s what makes the brand strong…it’s consistency, no matter what. You can’t be all things to all people….or you’ll dilute the brand. Chew on that:)
So what about you? What or who does your personal brand represent? How’s it going for ya? As we approach the new year, is it time for a make-over?