Have you ever met someone who’s willing to suffer for a brand?
For example, I love the store Boscov’s. It’s my favorite store because they have inexpensive, nice dresses and dress clothes that match my sense of style and don't break the bank.
However, if for some reason I had to be electric shocked every time I wore one of their clothes, my brand loyalty would plummet quickly. I'm only loyal to the brand because I am getting value from it, not because I am deeply invested in their mission or company. The second I cease to receive value from the product or service is the second I move on to another favorite store.
I was met with a similar situation recently at the doctor’s office. The doctor wanted to prescribe me a medication that I believe is morally wrong, and since there are other options available that are not against my faith, I held firm to my views despite her persistence in telling me that it wasn’t a problem.
Finally, she asked, “So if this were the only option, you still wouldn’t take it?”
"Yes," I responded without hesitation.
You see, the only brand I’m willing to “suffer” for, to die to self with, is Catholicism.It might not be easy, convenient, or fun at times. It might cause me to have to get red in the face and bumble over my words a bit as I go against popular opinion. But that’s how much I believe in this brand.
Think about the centurion's response at Jesus' death - "Surely this man was the Son of God!"(Mark 15:39). He was so moved by Jesus' willingness to die in support of the Truth that it changed His heart.
Now, imagine that I loved Boscov's so much that I was willing to be shocked for the brand. That would mean that I was definitely a very committed and loyal customer, to the point that even if something were that wrong, I would still come back. That's what we want for our churches, businesses, schools, and ministries. We want the assurance that our target audience is not just there because we make them feel good or are convenient, but that they will support us even when mistakes happen (because trust me, they inevitably will).
Thankfully for us as Catholic marketers, there are many who stand staunchly behind Catholicism no matter what. Our job then is to draw on this brand loyalty – a.k.a. faith – and use it as a tool. There are very few other “brands” out there besides religion that people would defend so much, even to the point of death. There’s no greater testimony or witness than that, which is why it is such an effective place to begin evangelization - and from a business standpoint, our marketing as well.
Because that's the thing - if we're doing our Catholic marketing right, our business goal and our evangelization goal are one in the same - bring others to Christ.
For me, I wasn’t called on to die for my faith at the doctor’s office – in fact, the conversation ended there, and we began to discuss the other options, as the doctor had simply been trying to evaluate how staunchly I was against this medication. Still, there was a small part of me that hoped my strong resistance to going against my faith, however annoying for her, gave her something to reflect on after, that I believe in my faith so much that I'd be willing to do anything to uphold its principles.
At the end of the day, I'm a firm brand advocate for Christ, and nothing can shake that.
“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants…I have called you friends.” John 15:13-15