Brand is the personality that differentiates a product, service or company and how it relates to its various stakeholders. The brand experience is the action that we perceive when using or feeling the brand. It creates a very powerful pull in the way people make purchase decisions. Marketers engaged in branding seek to develop or align the expectations behind the brand experience, creating the impression that a brand associated with a product or service has certain qualities or characteristics that make it special or unique. These qualities create powerful images that pull customers to purchase and acquire the brand of choice. Where two products or services resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store branded product); people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the perceived quality of the brand or on the basis of the reputation of the brand owner.
It’s not easy though to build brands. Companies spend vast amounts of money and resources to grow and nurture it. However, only a very few eventually succeed and survive the test of time. For the successful brands even with its accomplishments, it’ll only take a simple mistake to destroy what has been patiently built over the years.
Similarly, the names given to us are our personal brands. How we create it over time, how we nurture it, how we maintain it, tells how we are now in the present. We were given names during Baptism and its either we have lived by it, or have deviated from it. This name is not ordinary, as God gave it to us,
“I have called you by name; you are mine.”(Is. 43: 1).
The Feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Archangels was celebrated last September 29. St. Michael as we know is the Leader of God’s Army, and is also the patron of San Miguel Corporation, which celebrates its 124th this year. San Miguel Beer, among the Philippines most endearing icons, was founded in 1890, when the country was still under Spanish rule, truly a testament to its strength and endurance as a brand.
St. Gabriel is known as the Angel of Humanity, trusted messenger of God. Gabriel means “man of God,” or “God has shown himself mighty.” The angel announced to Daniel the prophecy of the seventy weeks. He was the angel who appeared to Zechariah to announce the birth of St. John the Baptist. Finally, he announced to Mary that she would bear a Son Who would be conceived of the Holy Spirit, Son of the Most High, and Savior of the world.
St. Raphael is known as the Arrow of Love, and the Doctor of God’s Love. His name means “God heals.” This identity came about because of the biblical story, which claims that he “healed” the earth when it was defiled by the sins of the fallen angels in the apocryphal book of Enoch.
In the Book of Revelations, St. John the Beloved was shown in a vision the deadly war that broke out in Heaven. He wrote about it while in exile in the island of Patmos in Greece. We’ve been told stories about Lucifer (name as used by early Christian tradition) or Satan, formerly the prince of angels, who was once so handsome, but in his pride and conceit became an ugly spirit after plotting against God and Heaven. Pride transformed a once beautiful being into an ugly beast. This can happen then to anyone that rebels against the Almighty Father.
The victory of St. Michael and His Angels predicts what will happen at the end of time. It is also a rich imagery of what happens everyday of our lives, when we are confronted with options between right and wrong, where the battle of good and evil is constantly raging. Hence, everyday consciousness of this battle being waged is important for us to realize how victory for our souls can be achieved. Whenever a crossroad is reached, we have to be alert in discerning the effect of what we think, say or do.
“Your name is your brand. Take very good care of it. It doesn’t only represent you, but also your family, your community, and even your company”, Fr. Armand says.
Let us pray that St. Michael and the Holy Archangels, together with our Guardian Angel, guide and protect us in our life’s pilgrimage. It’s a tough journey but let us be comforted in the Father’s awesome promise,
“When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in return for you. Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious, and because I Love You.” (Is. 43: 2 – 4a).