Reflection: Exaltation of the Holy Cross


September 14, 2009

First Reading: Nm 21:4b-9
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 78:1bc-2, 34-35, 36-37, 38
Second Reading: Phil 2:6-11
Gospel: Jn 3:13-17

Chances are that if someone mentions McDonald’s, you visualize the golden arches. Chances are also that you would recognize those golden arches even if they were in black and white, or green against red. The McDonald’s logo is so recognizable that it is iconic. That’s the sort of brand recognition for which you strive in the business world—a symbol that will be immediately recognized as your logo no matter where it appears.

That’s some thing that most business people understand instinctively. That’s why businesses trying to establish a brand identity often begin with a logo, and why companies that want to change their image often start by redesigning their logo to one more in line with the new image they want to present to the world.

The logo gives a first visual impression of the business. Anywhere it appears, the logo must be clear, sharp, distinct and unmistakable.

Branding identity and a strong company logo are essential pieces of the marketing puzzle, but finding and using the right company logo are often misunderstood and even implemented poorly or incorrectly.

Many successful companies have used a single company logo without any change for many years simply because the one they have chosen reflects who they are and what they do. There are advantages to using one company logo. Using one design consistently assists in the communication of your company message directly to current and potential clients. Company logos can help a business cement its brand in the market place by differentiating your products from others that are similar.

When it comes to a company logo, having a single focus is critical. You must be clear on what your identity is first, develop a concise company logo that clearly states your company’s identity, and then repeat the use of this design strategically to reinforce the message. Once you have your company logo developed, it is tempting to branch out and extend it so that it looks different for different purposes. You need to be careful not to dilute your logo should you do this. In order to retain the strength of the design and build company logo loyalty, you must keep your company logo focused and unchanged.

Logo symbolizes your company and provides an image nothing else can provide. It is one of the many important, yet missed, elements for many businesses. Either the company doesn’t have one or it isn’t good enough. It is crucial to have a logo for branding purposes and it gives your company an identity. A company without a logo will raise questions about your business and will result in a loss of identity. The shape has either to correlate with the name or be relevant to your business. It is best not to have the logo be something that the client has to guess to bring out the traits of your business. The logo is a must to build brand image because it conveys the qualities and thoughts of the business to the people.

There are also those who believe that logos do not really have much meaning behind them. They weren’t necessary in building the brand. Logos are important after you establish the brand. The importance of logos is overblown, especially if a business is not committed to branding. Branding is about positioning. It’s about living a promise and creating a relationship with your client. It’s not about graphic design. A logo is not branding.

From Numbers we hear the tale of a bronze serpent raised up (exalted), obviously pre-figuring the crucifixion of Jesus. The psalm sings of human sin and God’s mercy. The epistle to the Philippians emphasizes the enormous irony that the word of God took on “the form of a slave” and was “obedient to death, even death on a cross.” The most painful and humiliating form of torture and punishment becomes the instrument of our salvation and, for us, the sign of both our faith and God’s love. Finally, the Gospel from John puts these images together: Moses and the serpent, the Son of Man coming from and returning to the Father, God’s love and our salvation.

As we pray at the offertory, may this sacrifice once offered on the cross to take away the sins of the world now free us from our sins.

– Brother Tim

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