Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small. It is a business’s promise to its customer. It tells them what they can expect from a product and service. A brand is derived from who a business is, who it wants to be and who people perceive a business to be.
Today, in the age of the individual, you are encouraged to be your own brand. To be every bit as much a brand as Tommy Hilfiger, Coke, or Nike, you have to think like a brand manager. Ask yourself the same questions brand managers ask themselves: What is it that my product or service does that makes it different? What is my promise? My brand statement? What is the sum total of another person’s experience and perception of me?
Jesus gives us the ideal personal brand statement in Sunday’s gospel (Mt. 22:34-40): “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
How do I fulfill this personal brand statement? Love, says Saint Augustine, means first of all: I am glad that you exist. It is good that there is a “you.” Love begins with the good of the other. Am I good to my neighbor? It doesn’t matter if I like my neighbor. But I can wish him or her good, because God loves the neighbor who I might fight troublesome.
Jesus says that on these two commandments or personal brand pillars– love of God and love of neighbor – depend everything we have to do, everything God expects from us.