Brand loyalty
July 11 2003 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Brand loyalty | Friday, July 11, 2003

Friday, July 11, 2003

Brand loyalty

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

Perhaps you read about Rick Bronson, who used to drive a Coca-Cola delivery truck around Sylmar, California.

Bronson made the news when he got thirsty after making a delivery to a California store, bought a Pepsi, and went to a back room of the store to drink it. Someone reported his dastardly deed to the company, which told the 12-year veteran driver to hit the road.

Drinking a competitor's product while wearing the Coca-Cola uniform qualifies as "slander against the company and its products," Bronson said company officials told him.

Officials with the Teamsters union later speculated that Coca-Cola officials were just looking for a good excuse to give Bronson the old heave-ho because he reportedly promoted the organization to non-union drivers.

Coca-Cola officials insist it was the Pepsi, not the union, that led to Bronson's ouster.

I just wondered what might happen if our churches were quite so sensitive about fraternizing with the competition.

Should Baptists get the boot if they attend a concert down at the Pentecostal church?

Should a Catholic priest lose his collar if he's seen drinking coffee with a Presbyterian?

Should any church give its members the cold shoulder if they patronize the Muslim who runs the local convenience store, the Hindu who owns the dry-cleaners, or the Buddhist who keeps the town supplied with Chinese food?

Heaven forbid.

Jesus was constantly criticized for eating and drinking with (shudder) tax collectors and sinners. He often hung out with a bad crowd, according to the religious authorities of his day. He taught strange ideas like love and acceptance even for people who didn't keep kosher. He suggested that hungry people were more important than religious rules.

I suspect Jesus would have been happy to share a Pepsi, a Coke, a Mountain Dew or even a bottle of Ripple if it gave Him the opportunity to show grace and compassion to someone who needed it.

But, the people who ran the religion company of His day couldn't deal with that, so they not only fired Him, but crucified Him.

If the company you identify with defines itself by the company you keep, maybe it's time to revisit the policy manual.

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7/11/2003 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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