When the “brand” becomes the THING

A couple of weeks ago, I was ending another day by lying in bed and channel surfing, as is my habit, when I came across an episode of “The Profit” television show with host, Marcus Lemonis (photo left). The premise of the show is that no-nonsense Marcus tries to help small business owners grow their enterprise.

In this particular episode, Marcus was down in Miami working with Ana Quincoces (photo right). Ana and her small company were producing a variety of flavorful sauces/marinades under her “Skinny Latina” brand name, but weren’t making much headway into the already over-crowded and competitive sauce/condiment market.

Marcus could see right away that one of Ana’s biggest problem was the labeling on the sauce bottles. There were a couple of issues:

  • The labels prominently featured the brand name “Skinny Latina,” and an illustration of the “Skinny Latina” character. The name and character closely resembled the wildly-popular “Skinnygirl” name and logo used by television personality, Bethenny Frankel, for her products.
  • Customers falsely assumed from the prominent “Skinny Latina” brand name that the sauces were low-calorie when that was not the case.

Marcus (and the viewer) could immediately see the problems with the labeling, but Ana could not. She was deeply invested in and loyal to the labeling. Marcus then asked a marketing focus group to critique the “Skinny Latina” products. Sitting behind a two-way mirror, Marcus and Ana observed as the group of objective consumers gave enthusiastic thumbs-up to the sauces, but also confirmed the problems with the labeling. However, Ana continued to dig in her heels.

Marcus then tapped a marketing firm to design labels that nicely drew attention to the product and toned down the aforementioned “Skinny Latina” distractions. They did a nice job, but Ana still would have none of it. She was devoted to her brand and her labels even though they were hindrances rather than helps.

It’s not apples and apples, but some spiritual applications came to mind from this frustrating story. Lost religious people are blindly loyal and committed to their “faith tradition” brand even though it is opposed to the Gospel of grace. I think of my Roman Catholic family and friends, but this can apply to any false religion. Roman Catholics are generally baptized as infants and brought up in their religion with its impressive array of laws, rituals, and ceremonies. They are proud of their church and its traditions, but they aren’t trusting in Jesus Christ as their Savior. They resist the Gospel. They resist salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone. They cling strongly to their religious “brand,” even though it is a detriment and a danger. They resist the Physician and cling to the disease. They prize the oyster shell and discard the pearl.

“And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’” – Luke 5:39

32 thoughts on “When the “brand” becomes the THING

  1. Funny, as a foody myself I immediately thought the product was health/diet friendly!
    Good points Tom. Tied into this snare of brand loyalty is the prideful rejection of wise counsel.
    Have a good week!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lisa Beth! Yes, I have talked to many Catholics who would not even consider the Gospel because of brand loyalty to their institutional church (also involving loyalty to parents, family, and even ethic group).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, true, true. It was hard to pry myself away from the Armenian Apostolic Church years ago – so much intertwined with the ‘brand’ – culture, religion, tradition and love. (All binding but not freeing. No substitute for the Truth!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks! Yes, I know the feeling! Two very good Catholic friends told me they couldn’t even consider the Gospel because they would never betray their mothers.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, sister!

      RE: nostalgia

      Yeah, I really like the old logos, advertisements, etc. And in regards to Catholicism, the rituals and ceremonies were so ingrained in us that were brought up in old-school Catholicism – 12 years of Catholic schooling – that it never completely leaves you. I’m sure most believers who were brought up in cults have a residual subconscious tie to the ritualism, childhood memories, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I hope your daughter feels better soon. I said a prayer for her. 🙏🏻

      RE: WordPress

      My goal is to focus on job search from 9-3. It’s easy/tempting to get distracted with other things including all the good stuff on WP!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Wow this is a good analogy and you wrote this evangelistically for Catholics too. That’s really good. The name ” “Skinny Latina” for a sauce does sound really weird. They don’t gel together.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, brother!

      RE: “Skinny Latina”

      It was a blatant attempt to piggyback on the popular “Skinnygirl” brand. It’s strange how in some cases consumers embrace copycats and in other cases they strongly reject them.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: hip “pastors” in skinny jeans

        LOL. I know that styles change, but seeing a pastor standing at the pulpit with pants as tight as an 18-year-old girl is just WRONG.

        Liked by 2 people

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