The Importance of Church Branding.
Within the business world, ‘Branding’ is a bit of a buzzword. It sort of means everything, and nothing at the same time. It’s a kind of ethereal amalgamation of everything that a company is and does. It identifies the company, it steers the perceived character of the company, and builds confidence in products produced by the company.
In today’s digital generation, having a strong Brand is even more important to businesses and companies as it helps them stand out amongst the myriad other competitors. But it’s not just businesses that can benefit from a strong brand. To use business language for just a moment, the Church of God has the most important product to sell. There are many competitors out there trying to sell a similar product, but the Church is the only outlet selling the real McCoy. If the eyes of the world are looking elsewhere, the Church is going to be overlooked and it will not be fruitful in its mandate.
Why then, as a Church Leader, should you consider your Church’s Brand?
Right here at the start, it’s probably worth mentioning that Branding is more than just a logo. The logo is perhaps the most visual and clear side of the branding. It’s the image of the church that people will think of when they talk about the Church. But Branding is more than just the logo. Branding is everything that you do to make an impression on your ‘Target audience’. This might include your Church’s Culture, the style of Worship, the language of communication, the Outreach Ministries you support, the coffee you drink etc. Out of all of this, a personality is created. That personality is your church’s Brand. It’s important that you’re proactive in creating this, because otherwise the world around you will create one for you, and I can promise you that it won’t be the same as what you were aiming for.
As the Logo is the most visual aspect of the Churches brand, it might be a good place to start. The logo should be a simple, clear image which portrays an element of the church’s culture. Just as an example, a Church predominantly of Students and Young Adults may choose a logo which is loud and energetic, whilst a more conservative Church may choose something more professional and reserved. Consider what might best represent your Church, remember… When someone thinks of your Church, this is going to be the first image they’ll think of.
Pro-Active Leaders are always thinking about their Church culture. What attitudes are they building amongst their Church Members and how does this impact the ministry of the Church. This is because Culture spreads and permeates to those around the culture carriers. If you found a Church particularly welcoming, its because there’s a Leader modeling a Welcoming attitude. If a Church has a feeling of excellence, it’s because the leadership have developed that amongst their teams. Culture is as much a part of the Branding of a Church as the printed letterheads, and arguably, it’s even more important! Have you considered the impressions your visitors will take when they leave the Church?
So you’re getting the impression now that Branding is important. But why? Hopefully these three keys will help unlock something of the mystery of why Branding is so important to Churches.
1- Branding sets you apart:
It’s important to understand at this point, please don’t read what we’re not saying. We’re not promoting inter-Church competition and congregation poaching. But it is important that you stand out in your community. For whatever reason, people will be attracted to your Church. Maybe it’s because of the style of your Worship, or perhaps the congregation better reflects themselves. You’ve been called into ministry in your place and community to reach your world in a unique way. Your brand will help people establish how your Church is different to others in the area. You might be able to reach a demographic which a different Church on the same street were unable to! Your brand will set you apart from that other Church and allow people to find you.
2 - Branding creates connection:
Think of your Childhood. Chances are, you can remember your favourite sweets, treats and toys fondly. The branding of that product has stuck with you, this is the same for your Churches branding. People may not remember the sermon preached three weeks ago, but they will remember how they felt. If a family visits your Church for the first time, how are they going to feel? Your branding cultivates this connection and will fuel any future conversations within that family.
3 - Connection creates Participation
In a similar vein to the above, when someone feels connected, they’re more likely to get involved. As Church Members connect with the Church through the brand, they’re more likely to get involved in your outreach events, social gatherings and Community projects. A strong brand also gives the members language to better describe their Church Experience and are more likely to invite others!
These three Keys have hopefully unlocked something and given you at least one practical reason to consider your Church brand. For some of these, the process is organic and needs very little input, but for others, it will involve having hard conversations and Vision Casting. We’d love to hear your comments about your journey with Branding for your local Church. Why not join the conversation on Facebook!