We continue our business development studies from where we left off last week. On week 4 we began the study on branding, examining the philosophical and conceptual framework of branding as a discipline. Last week we discussed creating a brand name and embedding a vision within your organization’s name. To read the previous posts from this business development series please go to www.myilluminare.com.
Now, the Bible says, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.” (Proverbs. 22:1 AMP) The NLT translation says, “Choose a good reputation over great riches; being held in high esteem is better than silver and gold.” PR is therefore important. The Bible calls it “loving favour.”
Now, you don’t compare apples and oranges unless there’s a commonality. We compare apples and oranges because they’re both fruits at least. One tastes crunchy, the other tastes fleshy. No commonality, no comparison. A car can’t be compared to an apple for example. The point I’m trying to make is that you can’t compare a name to silver and gold unless both have economic properties. And so when the Bible talks about a good name relative to silver and gold it is telling you that a good name is an economic asset. It’s not just about morality, it is also economics. It is telling you that names have economic value. If you spoil the name of your company with bad behaviour you erode economic value. A good name is not just a moral principle, it is economic common sense as well. Every time you cheat a client or partner in business you erode economic value. Every time you do dodgy work in business you erode economic value. Every time you do shoddy work you erode economic value. Every time you do unintelligent work in business you erode value. Being ethical as a Christian businessman or woman is not about morality. It’s economic common sense. Good service is not about being nice, it’s about being economically sensible. Customer complaint responsiveness is about creating a sense of loyalty, custom and good PR. It reduces marketing costs.
But now we’ve seen how not to erode value in business, how do you store value? God stored economic value in his logo, Jesus. The key attributes were integrity and consistency.
You see the most critical thing about the Jesus brand (or any other good brand) is the integrity of the brand. I want us to go back to a passage we came across earlier, and you’ll see the linkage between integrity and brand power. In Hebrews 1:3 the Bible says: “The Son radiates God’s glory and expresses the very character of God…” (NLT) But that’s only half of the story. It’s an incomplete statement. The second half of the statement reads: “He (the Son) holds everything together by what he says – powerful words.” In other words, the word of Jesus has product integrity. It fulfils its intrinsic promises by never failing. What do we mean by product integrity? You see, there are intrinsic promises in every brand. Fulfilling those promises produces product integrity. Every time we buy Panadol, we purchase the promise of a cure of headaches and pains. If Panadol doesn’t cure headache it can’t be Panadol. It lacks product integrity. But then what if Panadol puts out an advert that says Panadol cures headache FAST. That’s an express promise. There are thus two promises locked up in your Panadol: the intrinsic promise to cure headache, AND the express promise to cure headache FAST. If the two promises of Panadol fail the brand fails. It must cure headache and cure it fast. A brand MUST fulfil its promises consistently, or people will lose faith and not gamble their money due to unpredictability. And so the first question you need to ask yourself is, what are the promises locked up in your business? What should we naturally expect? What should we naturally expect from a software company? What should we naturally expect from a branding company? What should we naturally expect from a bank? What should we naturally expect from a pharmaceutical corporation? What should we naturally expect from a tailor? (Now, that’s something we need to look into. When you study why tailors disappoint you’ll discover most times it’s a capacity problem and bad resource planning. They over-promise.)
Note that what we should naturally from a brand expect incorporates what we shouldn’t naturally expect. For example, we don’t naturally expect a food company to poison us. We don’t naturally expect a pharmacy to sell fake drugs. We don’t naturally expect a contractor not to finish executing his contract. We don’t naturally expect a lawyer not to be diligent, or be ignorant. He’s a learned gentleman. Don’t expect to be praised for not being crooked. You’re NOT supposed to be. You don’t have to be a Christian to have integrity! Integrity is not a “Christian” thing, it’s a basic contractual obligation. The irony though is when a man posturing as a Christian defrauds his fellow brother or defrauds a client. Some Christians have an integrity identity disorder (IID). Their Christianity expires on Sunday right after service.
Now, assuming you promise your client that you will deliver on a project in 6 weeks, instead of the normal 8 weeks. You’ve created an extra layer of promise, and integrity demands you fulfil that obligation. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Your words must always mean something. As an entrepreneur your words must not fall to the ground, or you can’t store value in your logo. The brand promises of Samsung and Apple and all the great brands you know never falter. When last did you buy a Samsung TV, switch it on and it doesn’t come on? When last did you buy an iPhone that doesn’t work? Therefore it is important you have quality standards. Without quality you can’t build a brand.
God’s word never falls to the ground. If it does the Jesus brand will suffer devaluation. He upholds all things by the word of his power. Trust is a critical component in branding, even in God’s branding. The other name for trust is faith!
Thank you and God bless! I wish you success in your business endeavour.
If you’ll like to give your life to Christ please pray this prayer: “Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I know that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for me and that you raised him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Christ is Lord and I receive him as my Lord and my Saviour. I am now born again. Amen.”
© Leke Alder | firstname.lastname@example.org