As I see it: Branding

“we are labeled, and sometimes we think it matters.” (Photo by Isa Zepeda used under Creative Commons license.)

By Patty Juliuson, Columnist

I’m not much of a brand shopper. OK, I’ll admit I love me some Hello Kitty, but most of the time, a brand name is no big deal. My favorite clothing label is “CLEARANCE” and I drive a hail-beaten PT Cruiser. What does that tell you?

Despite the swell of anti-consumerism in popular culture, we are a branded society. The North Face, Lucky Brand, Ed Hardy, Converse, Vans… we are labeled, and sometimes we think it matters. Would the hoody keep you warm if it weren’t inscribed with “Pink?”

It’s interesting that some people are under the impression that the brand makes the person. Their self-image is inextricably tied to fashion and possessions, and expensive brands work really hard to capitalize on that philosophy.

Watch the advertisements: car makers really want you to believe the value of their automobile lies in what their brand image will do for your image.
Does wearing, driving, or owning a certain brand reveal what kind of person you are? No, it only indicates who you THINK you are.

Wearing Dior or Chanel doesn’t make you wealthy or cultured any more than wearing House of Deréon makes you Beyoncé. It just means you drop more dimes on your duds. The label on the shirt won’t change the heart that lies beneath.

OK, stop, stop- I must confess, I am actually a “brandaholic.” I want certain labels all over me, and I want them to come to people’s minds when they think of me.

But the brands I want to wear aren’t found in any store, and they aren’t attached to purchases and possessions.

When people see me, I want them to read the label of KINDNESS that I wear on my face. I hope they will recognize INTEGRITY emblazoned across my shirt, and the shoes of LOVE and GRACE that move me through my day. I want to decorate my head with a chapeau of JOY so that everyone can see it.

These elite labels are valuable enough to pay the price to wear them. They belong to the Lord; He will gladly provide them, but it means more of HIM, less of me… a mammoth task, my friends, a monumental task.

Colossians 3:12 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

Those are labels I will be honored to wear. Nice thing is, there’s plenty to go around, and His size fits all.

So go easy on my choice of fashion, and don’t be hating on Hello Kitty, either.

See you in class.