Why Branding Is Necessary for Your Church
By Stephen Rawlings
As a culture, we are bombarded with brands. Companies divide, direct, and define our personal and professional lives. Branding puts us into neat boxes and informs our marketers about our preferences and priorities.
Still, branding goes beyond golden arches and golden corrals. It presents a company or service as a tangible entity and gives the product life of its own.
What is your church's brand? What image comes to mind when a potential attendee is looking into your ministry? And what is the difference between a church's brand and a traditional business brand?
Let's talk about it.
Branding matters for everyone
We live in a digital age, and most aspects of our lives are connected to a screen. According to a recent article in Forbes, the average person spends around 12 hours a day in front of a screen. And the average adult consumes five times more information than we did fifty years ago.
Companies and websites have gained an unprecedented amount of access to our personal lives. This brand intimacy means that consumers have more options at our fingertips. And branding correctly is more valuable than ever.
Should churches and businesses brand themselves the same?
The short answer is no, but the same thought and energy should go into cultivating your church’s branding strategy as it would a business. Businesses will spend millions of dollars creating a marketing strategy to help control consumer perception, but it is all profit-focused.
A business will brand itself to appeal to its target market. For example, Nike created its image to appeal to a clientele that appreciates athletic apparel. By nature, this niche focus on this chunk of the market makes the marketing strategy exclusive.
This focus does not mean that other people do not enjoy Nike apparel, but it does mean that Nike puts the needs of the athletic consumer first.
In contrast, churches are by nature, inclusive. The Kingdom of God focuses on reaching humanity and not slicing it into segments. There are no target markets in the Kingdom because all are welcomed into God's presence.
Sure, some churches have a more modern feel, while others enjoy a more traditional approach. But at the heart of your churches brand is biblical truths and promises.
Still, successful companies are very good at branding. And an educational understanding of their marketing strategy would be beneficial in developing your brand.
Need Help With Your Church’s Branding?
Marketing versus branding
People often mix up branding and marketing because the ideas go hand in hand, but marketing informs branding. In other words, if your brand is a house, marketing is the bricks and foundation.
Your brand is the feeling that people get, positive or negative, when they think of your organization. Public perception is the key to branding an organization correctly, and a part of your brand is not controllable once your organization opens its door.
Businesses care much more about the group than the individual, but the church focuses on the individuals. Each person matters, and that is the power that ministries have at their fingertips.
Companies focus on making their product as good as it can be, but, for churches, your product was created perfectly. Now, you have to deliver your message correctly and with respect.
Here are three ways you can improve your church's brand.
1. Creating a professional logo
Creating a logo is one of the most important and most difficult things you will do as an organization. It has to be synonymous with your culture because it will represent your church for the organization's lifetime.
A good logo should be easy to describe and have a simple design. Keeping your design simple will help to implant the logo in your potential member's minds.
Elevation church's logo, for example, is an arrow pointing up on a darkened circle. The logo literally points for the reader to elevate. This simple design keeps it classic.
It also keeps your logo memorable and makes an impression. Simplicity redefines the object and makes your logo stand out.
For example, Apple did such an excellent job with their brand that when you type apple into Google, the first thing you see is not a fruit. That thinking is revolutionary, and churches are starting to adopt that mentality.
You should also make your logo recognizable at any size. Scalability is useful in so many contexts.
McDonald’s does not have to write their name on every piece of advertising they put out. The golden arches are recognizable, even if it is a small logo in the corner or on a giant sign off of the highway.
Churches do not have to conform to the rules that govern businesses. But making your church's logo simple, scalable, and memorable will only help attendance.
2. Identity and value
Businesses find value in their products, but the Kingdom's value is the product. We are the children of the King, and that inheritance gives us identity and value.
God made us in His image, but He made us each uniquely to serve His Kingdom.
What makes your church different?
If your church's worship is incredible, make that a central point in your online presence. Your website should have videos of your unique worship experience, and it should feature an invite for people to come to the next service.
If your church is ministry-focused, include it on your social media platforms. Let people know what your church values and express your individuality.
The world is closer now than ever, and with that comes a lot of noise. Be different and brand yourself honestly. There are a lot of churches in the world, but no two churches are alike. Allow your church to stand out.
3. Brand loyalty
Thriving businesses know the difference between a one time sale and a raving fan. A casual consumer will buy from the company infrequently, but a business that can find a raving fan creates brand loyalty.
My father loves Chevrolet, but his brother loves Ford. The debates that I remember them having are still legendary in the family, and while good-natured, they showed just how far brand loyalty goes in this world.
They were willing to stand up and fight for their cars, and when I got my first Impala, my father felt like he won an important battle. To this day, my uncle tries to convince me to buy a Ford, but I, too, have brand loyalty.
Your church can inspire more passion in your potential congregation than earthly products can. By engaging people and being lights in the world, your church can make others want to come back.
Final thoughts on your brand
To become a fan of a business, the consumer must first buy into the market. This transaction is very one-sided because the company cannot have an impactful relationship with its customers beyond what they sell.
In contrast, the church is a fan of the lost and wants to reach them because God reached out to us first. We have no price to pay for God's love and forgiveness because He paid the price for us.
The inheritance of the Kingdom and your church's individuality is your brand, and it is more valuable than all the earthly treasures that can be obtained. You are not selling a product; you are giving a gift.
Do you need help with your church’s branding? Give us a call at 877-494-4655 and talk to one of our church planting specialists about some of the unique services we provide. Or click on the button below to schedule a call to have a specialist call you. We hope to show you that our brand is helping your church be successful.