2 min read
I absolutely disdain the idea of branding! When I started preparing the marketing of my book, you can imagine my chagrin when I learned I had to “brand” myself!
When I think of branding, I think hot irons searing into the flesh of a horse or a cow, indelibly marking them with the rancher’s ego, oops! logo. Once branded, there’s no room for change in your identity (not that a cow or horse wants to change!). But when it comes to branding people, it seems fake to me. The idea is to present yourself as an image or mirage, pre-packaged, pre-conceived and pre-contrived to fit the targeted marketing demographic.
Branding reminds me of the old saying “don’t air your dirty laundry.” In other words, don’t let them see the messy stuff! Make everything you present in public, clean, airbrushed, and sanitized, creating a false image of reality that the reader can swallow like vanilla pudding. Only life is not vanilla pudding! (besides I prefer chocolate.)
Life is messy, people are messy, our thoughts and feelings are messy (and complicated) and faith is messy.
Churches have been branding themselves for years. I once was “church shopping” (kind of like on-line dating) and the Methodist Sunday school I attended taught all about the Methodist way (silly me, I thought I was there to learn about Jesus.) Every Holy institution I’ve been to since has in some way or another “branded themselves” (I suppose to target their marketed demographic.)
I wonder though, how do you brand Jesus?
* How do you brand humble and meek in a world that isn’t buying humble and meek?
*How do you brand sacrificial love?
*How do you brand redemption and transformation?
Why can’t we be real and messy and complicated, knowing and believing that God loves us anyway?
Perhaps to do that would be more like branding dung, and that doesn’t brand very well (except in Gardening!).