Review: Branded (Sharing Jesus with a Consumer Culture)

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What would the world look like if we stopped mass-marketing Jesus and started marketing our faith by sharing relationally, from person to person?

That is the question posed throughout the book, Branded by Tim Sinclair.

From the back cover:

Tim Sinclair is a radio personality on one of the top Christian morning shows in he country. As a marketer, he has helped radio stations and businesses – including McDonald’s and Word Records – creatively and effectively brand themselves.

And, now Tim has written a book encouraging Christians to take a look at the way we’re branding Christ because, as he points out, like it or not, good or bad, we are branding Christ.

I really debated over whether or not to agree to review this book. I don’t do well with non-fiction. I’m kind of a “give it to me in a two page magazine spread” kind of girl when it comes to non-fiction. I lose interest easily.

I did not lose interest in Branded.

About Branded:

The church spends $1.5 million for every one new follower of Jesus. Apple sells 26 iPads every minute. What is it that makes Apple so exciting and Jesus so boring? What is it that compels someone to bring their iPod everywhere and their Bible nowhere?
 
In a word: marketing.
 
Jesus is a life-changing product with lousy salespeople-people who are intimidated and embarrassed by the word “evangelism” and who show more enthusiasm for their gadgets than their God.
 
What would life look like if we stopped mass-marketing Jesus and started marketing our faith like Nike and Apple market their products – sharing relationally, from person to person?
 
Using examples from these and other successful companies, author Tim Sinclair challenges Christians to throw out their casual attitudes toward faith and sign on for a marketing campaign for the Savior.
 
Written with the wit and wisdom of an experienced marketer, Branded peels away the feelings of fear and encourages readers how to share their faith in ways that are honest, authentic, and, most importantly, effective.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It’s really a quick, easy read written in a very conversational style – much like a good blog post. There aren’t pages and pages of long, dry paragraphs.

Everything is quick, to-the-point, with lots of bullet points and white space – easy for the eye to follow and the mind to comprehend.

Mr. Sinclair writes with a quick wit and drives home his points with clear, meaningful, relatable illustrations. This is clearly evident in one of my favorite chapter, Chapter 4: I Wanted a Honda.

Sinclair recounts the day he went to a car dealership wanting a Honda. What he saw on the showroom floor was a sporty, well-equipped car that had him drooling. Imagine his surprise when he discovered that it was a Hyundai, which, based on an early impression of the car, he hated…didn’t he?

He knew the facts about Hyundai – that it offered the best warranty in America, its vehicles were five-star safety rated, and that it had done well in Consumer Reports, yet his negative perception remained.

He left with a Hyundai.

He asks, “What changed.” Nothing. It just took combining his knowledge with getting up close and personal with a product that was “so remarkable, so different” that he couldn’t possibly ignore it.

Then, comes the clincher:

I wonder if the world sees Jesus (and Christians) much the way I used to see Hyundai.

Ouch.

Branded is not your typical how-to evangelism book. In fact, it’s not really a how-to at all. It’s more of a challenge.

It’s a challenge to see Christians the way the world sees us. To look at how we’re marketing the most important “product” the world will ever encounter. To quit throwing spaghetti at the wall, hoping some of it sticks, and, instead, to get relational in our sharing of our savior.

He encourages readers to get out of their comfort zones. To quit hiding behind our small groups and get out and minister. To let go of the “Christianese” and speak to unbelievers in ways that make sense. To figure out why someone would be interested in our faith before trying to sell something that we’re apathetic about at best.

I hope I haven’t made it sound like Tim Sinclair is beating Christians up the entire 141 pages of the book. It’s not that way at all. Branded is convicting, but it’s also witty, interesting, and down-to-earth.

It is, honestly, a book that I would encourage all Christians to read. I finished it feeling challenged, convicted and inspired in my faith.

I received a free copy of this product for the purpose of reviewing it.  This post contains affiliate links.  As an affiliate, I will receive a portion of the sale of any products purchased through links included in this post. The thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Your experience may vary.  Please read my full disclosure policy for more details.

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8 Comments

  1. man because I needed something to add to my reading list.  :0)

    sounds like a great book! 

  2. This is something I have been thinking about a lot!  Thanks for sharing this book and your review. 🙂

  3. Carrie…I'm sure you have a ton of stuff on your "to-read" list already, but I promise you BRANDED is a very quick read. Hope you get a chance to get to it.  🙂

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