Recently I attended a colleague’s recognition ceremony with the PRSA chapter in Charlotte. The annual event celebrated three significant leaders in the area and raised money for the chapter. We were there to champion our colleague, Mr. Ryan McShane, who was being honored with the Young Professional of the Year award.

While I’m not an active PRSA member, I really enjoyed and respected the people in the room – they were very passionate about their chapter and the people being honored that evening. Ryan knew just about everyone and seemed really ‘at home’ at the event.

It reminded me of the importance of passion on one’s life and work. I always feel comfortable around people who are passionate about something. It doesn’t matter what it is or if I even like that subject. When someone exemplifies passion, I feel at ease.

Is it a coincidence that I am also attracted to brands that showcase a true passion? I believe that when a brand is open and honest at its true core and the passion shows through – consumers are pulled in that direction.

I’ve been enamored by New Belgium Brewery ever since I saw how the brand interacts with its consumers: drawing passion from their universe of executives, employees, friends and – most importantly – end users.

I have only shopped at Trader Joe’s twice in my life and the store is literally 3 miles from our office. But, I follow them on Facebook, receive e-newsletters and pay attention to what they are up to. Not only are their employees passionate about the brand, but so are their customers – evangelizing the store when they can.

These are just two examples of brands that let their passion shine through to consumers. What other brands do you think are passionate?

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