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