Brand Loyalty

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The American Marketing Association defines brand loyalty as “The degree to which a consumer consistently purchases the same brand within a product class,” but to me brand loyalty is when you’re committed to a brand, not because you were raised on them, but because they treat you right.

A few months ago a member of our cross country team had her Nike watch stolen. Our coach has a friend in Nike and when he told him what happened, he was horrified and sent a replacement right away. To backtrack – my family has always been loyal to Nike. As a group of runners, Nike is nothing but the best! That said, I would buy something from Adidas if it meant saving a few bucks. Now I am willing to spend those few extra bucks to support a company who values their costumers as much as Nike (in my experience) does.

I had a similar experience. A little over a year ago I discovered this little known music streaming site: Grooveshark. I couldn’t even tell you how I found it, but I owe whoever showed me it a HUGE thank you. On Grooveshark you can listen to stations (similar to Pandora), but what sets Grooveshark apart is that you can search songs, create playlists, and there are no interrupting advertisements. I say interrupting because they do have an ad to the right hand side of your screen, but it has no effect on ANYTHING. They are even worth taking a look at because they’re tailored to you. I actually found ModCloth from a Grooveshark ad. (Modcloth is a great online clothes store – expensive but great) Grooveshark already had me hooked for life, but I started to have problems with my anti-virus randomly alerting me that the site was Malware. I didn’t think much of it and just refreshed the page and continued into the world of my hand selected music. After a few months I decided that I should report it. Within 20 MINUTES I received an email apologizing and asking for further information (what the alert was like, when it happened, and if I was redirect (so they could best solve the problem) but they didn’t stop there, they gave me 3 months of free premium membership. The 3 months came with ad-free usage so that I wouldn’t have any more difficulty while the got rid of the problem. Not only were the email prompt and personable, they were genuinely helpful. When my 3 month membership runs out, I intend to spend the $90 per year on one to support them and thank them for everything day do.

In the food industry there have been similar encounters. My family avoids Burger King, Arbys, KFC and other fast food restaurants because of repeated poor service or poor food quality.

This all has been a reminder to me that the way you treat people matters. Brand loyalty is proof that when you treat someone with respect, they remember.

Daily Decency

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Being stuck behind a school bus, particularly one that is dropping kids off every other inch (or so it seems), can be one of the most frustrating ways to end your day.

Especially when you’re 300 feet from your house.

Just an hour ago I was sitting in my car and staring at my ever-welcoming driveway, yet  I was not remotely frustrated. “But Tessa you just said being stuck behind a bus is one of the most frustrating things!” Yes I did. I was not frustrated though because I knew that I would only be stuck for 30 seconds maximum, unlike the two cars in front of me, who could still have miles left to their destinations! But (wait for it…) I did not feel even remotely sorry for them either.

Why? Because the bus driver who brings kids home in my neighborhood is one of the most remarkable people I know.

This woman (I’m afraid I don’t know her name – though I should) had surgery at some time ago – when I was too small to remember all of what I was told. During this surgery, she lost her voice. Every day she struggles to speak and when she does speak, it comes out in a hoarse whisper. Even more difficult, she spends her time driving with a bus full of (probably not very well-behaved) children. She must keep these children under control without the use of her voice.

Another hardship I imagine she faces comes from my own experience. I remember when I first heard her speak, it startled me. Luckily my parents taught me manners, so I smiled and responded like nothing was out of the ordinary. But I cannot imagine how how the less well-mannered kids must react on that first day of school. Every. Single. Year.

Needless to say – I cannot fathom a day in her shoes. Just the fact that she does all of this with a smile on her face (a smile that is one of the most genuine I have ever seen) is remarkable and makes her one of my role models. However, what really inspired this post, is the little kindness that she does for me and everyone in my neighborhood every day.

As I got out of my car today I saw her do what she’s done for my mom and I countless times before, pull over and let the cars behind her pass. That sounds like such an easy thing, but consider how often she pulls over to let people in cars pass her. She is flipping the role from lengthening their drive, to lengthening her drive. The most powerful part of this act, is that she does it almost every day. I promise you that having this happen completely turns your mood around!

The point I want to stress is that you can make an impact in people’s lives simply by thinking about their perspective. I am guilty of using statements along the lines of “that’s their problem,” but what if I made it my problem too? I’m not saying stress about it or go too far out of your way to help, instead simply do what you can. Find an area in your routine where you can do something every day to help others. That can mean picking up trash whenever, wherever you see it or offer that kid you see walking home every day a ride. Use every opportunity in your life to change someone’s mood for the better, even if you don’t think it will make any difference to them, it just might make their day.

Why Music Matters

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I love music, probably more than is healthy for me.  Anything can become an addiction; mine is music (and tea/coffee) and like most music addicts, I go through music phases. A few years ago I was listening to a lot more profain and vulgar songs, and I felt pretty crummy about it. So I decided to do a music cleanse, which (for those of you who don’t know) is when you stop listening to all music but Christian. The difference it made was phenominal! I felt happier, stronger, more confident, and closer to God.

Now I’m not here to say that you need to only listen to Christian music – or Christian music at all – I totally came back into other types of music after almost 4 months, but I didn’t go back to my old music. So whether or Christian, Muslim, or Athiest I want to use this post to talk about how media affects you and your attitude.

“Above all else gaurd your heart”
-Proverbs 4:23

God warns us that what we put into ourselves will be with us forever, and (not surprisingly) He couldn’t have been more right. We are living in a society where talking about women like trash is fine. Those singers say horrific things about women, and they mean it. In Whistle by Flo Rida he says “that’s just how we live in my genre,” which demonstrates exactly I’m saying. This way of life is acceptable, even worshiped.

As a woman, how does listening to that type of music make me feel? Not too good. I regularly think of myself as more than a peice of meat, but with too much music like that I fall into feeling like I have to be sexy (in it’s true meaning), when I don’t. I also am going to say that as a man if you listen to this then you’re going to begin to see girls in this way. Whether you mean to or not. Even off of the sexual branch of music that I find distastful, there’s  music that is either angry at the world or self pitying. This music is so easy to listen to when you’re upset, but you’re just milking your anger and pain. I have a song by ADTR that as soon as I listen to it, I become angry and feel like the victim. Instead I should focus on the good things but this music drives my focus.

I could go on and on about differnet musics and their negative messages, but I want to begin to wrap up this post with a challange: next time you’re jamming to music, take a moment to assess what kind of mood it puts you in. Compare this between different genres and I’m will to bet you’ll notice a change.

So do yourself a favor and listen to positive and uplifting music. It may be the attitude change you need to turn your life around.

What Happened to Charity?

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‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

-Acts 20:35 ESV

As some of you might know, I run a fitness/health blog that has been decently successful, so when I found a $2,500 scholarship that is awarded to the person who directs the most traffic to their website, I figured I might as well try to use my influence on that blog to win. So I made the post and sent out some messages asking for help and I did get some support – which is awesome! However I had one follower (I assume) who messaged me suggesting I offer promotions (like a shoutout for you twitter fans) to people for posting messages on their blogs or clicking. I thanked her for the idea but said that I take my promotions very seriously and only promote people who I see as a positive helpful influence for my followers… Her reply was that “it is the least you could do”. I was pretty angry about this. Obviously she’s entitled to her opinion but I was offended she was implying I don’t already do things for my followers. Her next message is included:

You’re just a weight loss blog and honestly you’re lucky people even clicked on it. It’s just tumblr what do you possibly do for your followers? give out health advice? we can get that anywhere. get over yourself dude its not anyones job to help you with your education

That’s how she feels (which is fine, she has a right to) but I strongly disagree with her. I run my blog for my followers so according to her I’m not giving them anything, and I should delete it. All I’m asking is a little help paying for my education through literally a minute of their day. 3 clicks of a mouse. Two to visit the link and one to reblog the post. All of that aside though, the real reason I shared this quote is to point out her last line, “it’s not anyone’s job to help you with your education.” So keep that in your mind while you continue reading.

I’m the type of person who loves volunteering. I would make 5 or 6 posts that publish throughout the next few days and maybe even message people myself… Because it’s my job? No, because God called us to love one another and to help one another. I would never ever say someone had to help me, because they don’t. That being said though what would the world be if we all lived by this only-with-benefits helping?

Obviously there are some AMAZINGLY giving people out there. There are people near and far that blow me away with their willingness to help others. And I didn’t make this post to complain or call everyone on the planet a bad person, I honestly just wanted to call attention to the fact that every single one of us needs more incentive than we should in order to help each other. No judgement really allowed though because I fall under that category too… We all do.

So next time you see a chance to help someone, look to God who gave up everything so that we could all know him and not burn forever in Hell, and give up a few minutes of your day (or a few dollars out of your pocket) to help.

God Bless and do something nice for someone today and tomorrow!

Tessa

Keep Calm and Carry On

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As clichè as “Keep Calm and Carry On” is getting, it might just be the secret to living a happy life.

Choices made in an emotional situation are usually poor ones. (Which is why you’re not supposed to drive emotional – bad choices follow). So how do you avoid that? Keep calm and carry on. When something major, or not so major, happens take a step back and be rational. Look at the big picture and ask if in 10 years this is going to matter. Most importantly don’t forget to move past it and carry on to a better tomorrow.

For example if you are going through a breakup try and remind yourself you’re going to end up with someone who is even better for you. Same with friends.

Quick “emotional” choices can make a rough patch (friendship fight) lifelong regret (ruined trust with that friend – and others!). Say your bestfriend lied to you about if she was going to that party and she just didn’t want to invite you. You’re so mad – some friend she is! So you tell EVERYONE her biggest secrets. So what? She’s not your friend anymore anyways. Well what if she didn’t invite you to that party for a good reason? Now you’ve destroyed that friendship. Let’s say you don’t even tell her secrets, you just go trash talk her. You’re still burning any trust you had. Not only that but people who see you do it will remeber how you treated that “friend” in the back of their heads. Even if you were the one with a “reason” to trash her.

I challenge you to, before making a big choice (like drinking or mooning your friend while you’re trying to drive down a highway), think it through. If what you’re about to do could hurt you or someone you love, ask yourself if it’s worth it. Accidents happen. NEVER think ‘oh that won’t happen to me’ because you don’t know.

If you’re ever in doubt ask yourself if what you’re about to do would please God. If it wouldn’t, it’s not worth it! God’s plan is the best one you’re going to get. Whatever you’re going through remember that it’s going to get better. Always. Keep calm and carry on.

God bless and have a great day!
Tessa

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