Tuesday, July 16, 2013

You are a Brand

Today the world has 6.92 billion people. They all wake up and look for the sun in the sky. They also look up at super brands and aspire to belong. The future is bright for brands that evolve their buyers into passionate advocates. Loyal consumers who buy without question. These are consumers who are worth their weight in gold.

When a brand gets it right, loads of customers worldwide will be with you for life, and the business can grow kinetically.

But what, exactly, is a brand? The term is often misunderstood – confused with "logos" and "taglines." Here's how Thoma defines it: "your brand embodies the sum of all that is known, thought, said, felt, experienced and perceived about your organization, service or product."

Every person who has come into contact with your faith community or organization has had an experience that entails physical, mental and emotional components. Many factors or touch points contribute to that experience, including your members, staff, culture and services. Somewhere within these contributing factors is your brandable feature.

Getting and keeping your converts is a continuing work in effective customer service. And whether things right or wrong on the holy road to success every church has their own good book, also known as their brand strategy, to remind both yourself and your believers of your chosen path. The beautiful baptismal point is when your brand has been unconsciously deified in the minds of your target market. And if you run your crusade campaign right your community will gladly help to spread the good word.

Pepsi is the number one "brand" in some countries of the world. Companies spend millions of dollars making their brands known in business. They want you to recognize their brand. When you think of their brand they hope you will have positive thoughts in hopes it will influence your next purchasing decision.

Every individual has a personal "brand" whether you want it or not. Cultures have a brand. Ethnic groups have a brand. Your brand is defined by your conduct. If you are always late, you'll soon develop a brand or reputation for being late. Others will even show up late because they know you will be late. If you are a person who exaggerates the truth, others will soon fail to take you serious.

However, the opposite can also be true. Your brand can be incredibly positive. By being a man or woman of your word, who is consistent in dealing fairly and honestly with others, your brand becomes known as someone who is faithful in all aspects of life.

I am impressed by the write up of "Finding Fulfillment" by Charles R. Swindoll. He says the ad campaigns that come out of Madison Avenue promise much more than they can deliver. Their titillating messages fall into four categories: fortune and fame, power and pleasure.

Fortune. Fame. Power. Pleasure. The messages bombard us from every direction.

But what's missing in all this? Stop and ask yourself that question. Isn't something very significant absent here?

You bet. A vertical dimension.

There's not even a hint of God's will or what pleases Him in the hardcore pursuit of success. Note also that nothing in that horizontal list guarantees satisfaction or brings relief deep within the heart.

And in the final analysis, what most people really want in life is contentment, fulfillment, and satisfaction.

God is Faithful

For some, a life without religion is an improvement for them and those around them. Atheists and agnostics can proudly count among their ranks many thoughtful, compassionate people. But human nature being what it is, I suspect that most who drop religion simply move into the ranks of lazy ex-religious people. Sunday mornings formerly spent at church are traded for more sleep or television. The money once earmarked for church coffers now pay green fees.

One of God's most important characteristics is His faithfulness. Faithfulness means one is true to fulfilling their promises to others in the time which was committed. God is faithful to fulfill all His promises to His children.

I'm glad God doesn't forget His promises. He keeps His Word. When He makes a promise, He will deliver. Faithfulness, one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), is a biblical word describing those who keep their promises. It does not mean "full of faith," but rather "worthy of faith." Faithfulness says, "I will keep my word. I will not fail you. I won't quit on you." Faithfulness is the glue that keeps our actions adhering to our promises.

The faithfulness of God is foundational to our faith: If we can't trust what He says in the Bible, we have no reason to believe. If He doesn't keep His Word, then our salvation is shaky and our hope is empty. But if God does fulfill His promises, then our faith is meaningful and our eternal destiny is secure.

God gives us the same freedom today, along with the same choices. We can choose to obey and follow God, living in harmony with God's commands for the way the world was meant to be. Or we can rebel against his commands and live in dissonance with God and his creation.

One of God's most important characteristics is His faithfulness. Faithfulness means one is true to fulfilling their promises to others in the time which was committed. God is faithful to fulfill all His promises to His children.

Moses was also an example of faithfulness to his call. "Moses was faithful as a servant in all God's house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God's house" (Heb 3:5-6).

Tough times and Temptations that come into your life

We all experience hard times in our lives. These struggles with sickness, danger, financial problems, grief, or depression happen to each of us at times. But these only prompt us to cling ever tighter to God—not to turn away from Him, blaming Him for causing or allowing all our troubles. He does not promise to prevent problems from coming into our lives, but He does promise to go through them with us. Suffering and death are as much a part of living as eating and breathing, and we can rely on God to use these situations to build character and faith in our lives.

“Remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.”

God’s faithfulness is a great encouragement when we face temptation. He knows exactly the limits of what we can bear. He promises that He will not allow us to get into situations where we are overpowered by temptation.

Faithfulness developed in one area of your life carries over into the others. If you want to excel in faithfulness toward God, then, start by being faithful toward your family, on your job, in your financial dealings. Don't wait for someone to trust you with something big; be faithful now with what you've been entrusted with.

Fear nothing but sin

In your relationship with God, don't be quick to say or promise things; what you tell God you will do, be sure to do (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7).

If others in past centuries—and some even today— have reddened the mouths of lions, languished in prisons, and been scorched in the flames, can we not go out today, back to the school, back to the office, and live for Jesus Christ? God help us that we shall. In this evil hour, we’ll have revival when there are men and women, Christians with burning hearts, brimming eyes, and bursting lips, who fear nothing but sin and who love nothing but Jesus Christ.

Develop a habit of obeying God promptly. Don't wait to receive revelation before doing this; start doing it now with the revelation in God's written Word that you already have. Your ready obedience will set you apart as one who God can trust to carry out His will.

Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. (Psalm 101:6).

Let each of us strive with all our heart to become men and women whom God can trust to carry out what is on His heart with single-minded obedience. Let us not wait for the big challenges in life before starting to learn faithfulness; let us start learning now in the "unimportant battles" of life to be faithful to God and His Word, so that we will be ready when the "big fights" come.

And above all, let us abide in Christ, and allow his words to abide richly in us; and let us strive to please God in our words and deeds rather than our own hearts, so that we can manifest fully the fruit of the spirit, the character of God and of Christ, in our lives.

My brand is Jesus Christ.... Today, Tomorrow & Forever.


Raj Kosaraju

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