In the marketing world, the phrase “passion brand” refers to a product that has a passionate following among its customers. In addition to being loyal to the product, the customers also personally identify with it. If necessary, they will expend the time and energy to defend the product when someone criticizes it. The ownership of the product becomes a statement in and of itself — a statement that the customer has achieved a special status because of their affiliation with the product.
In 1976, during the spring semester of my freshman year in college, I got in my car and drove to the local Western Union office. When I walked in, I told the clerk at the counter that I wanted to send a telegram. At that time, a telegram was a written message that was sent by telegraph from one Western Union office to a Western Union office in a different city. The second Western Union office would then make arrangements to hand-deliver the message to the intended recipient.
Last week, I wrote about a conversation I had with a contractor to whom I referred as “Ray.” I told you how Ray tried to convince me that in addition to needing new shingles and gutters, I also needed to replace the fascia and soffit on my house. One thing that I didn’t tell you was that he also tried to convince me that I needed my sidewalk, concrete patio, and landscaping blocks spray-cleaned and sealed. He bragged about how he had the best equipment on the market for cleaning and sealing concrete.
Last fall, I submitted a claim to my homeowner’s insurance for the replacement of the roof of my house. The shingles on the roof had been damaged by a hail storm that had occurred earlier in the year. A few days after I submitted the claim, an insurance adjuster came to my house and verified that the shingles had been damaged. A week later, he provided me with an estimate of the cost to replace the shingles. I told him that I wanted to get estimates from some contractors before I decided what to do. I then contacted a few roofing companies and asked them to provide me with estimates.
Last month, I scheduled a time to donate blood at the Red Cross. In order to save time, prior to showing up for my appointment, I logged onto the Red Cross website and answered all the preliminary questions that I’m required to answer before I can donate blood. The questions were designed to allow the Red Cross to determine any blood safety risks that may be present.
Last year was the 80th anniversary of the publication of the book, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. The book, which was originally published in 1937, has never gone out of print. In other words, at any time during the past 80 years, a person could walk into a bookstore or, in recent years, go on the internet and purchase the book. Very few books have ever succeeded in remaining in print for 80 years.