Does your church have a name and a logo? Then, guess what... your church has a brand. But if you've moved branding to the bottom of your priority list, you might want to rethink that approach.
Your church's brand affects how people think and feel about you. It can either draw people in or turn them away. When church branding is done well, it's a powerful way to reach more people.
Whatever your outreach goals are, developing the right brand for your church will only help you share Jesus' message with more people. To help you develop a good brand for your church, we put together five simple branding tips for church planters that will help you connect with more people.
1. Know Yourself
Cat Stevens said it best, “If you want to be me, be me. And If you want to be you, be you.”
It sounds simple, but this might be the hardest part of building a brand. Nearly every organization struggles with pinpointing its personality and vision. Often, in an attempt to appeal to everyone, organizations take on more than one personality. This is called “mission creep” and it can be detrimental in the long run. Instead, identify what your church is truly about and focus solely on that.
To begin this process, try brainstorming words that represent your church's mission and values. You might start with words like unity, holiness, and discipleship. These words will help guide the language you use to develop a mission statement. Here are 50 great examples to get you started.
2. Know Your People
You can’t build a brand without knowing whom you’re building it for. And to reach others effectively, you must cater to their communication preferences. What does that mean? Find out what they like, how they talk, when they’re listening, and where they hang out online.
Furthermore, don't make the mistake of assuming you already know the needs of your community. Ask them. And respond by addressing those needs in your ministry.
To really know your community, you'll need to create something called "personas". Don't know what that means? Here's a quick walkthrough to get you started.
3. Be Honest
“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters."
— Albert Einstien.
Being honest reinforces who you are and what your purpose is. Be completely honest about everything — your successes, your failures, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Evaluating your weaknesses can be tough and requires a great deal of humility and courage. But demonstrating honesty shows that you're church is run by real people.
People are attracted to honest brands because they are more trustworthy. If your community trusts you, they will be more likely to recommend you to friends (hello, word-of-mouth referral).
4. Be Passionate
You love your church – it's your passion. And your passion can be contagious if you let it be. As much as people cling to honest brands, they also cling to passionate ones. The passion starts with you and your staff. Together, you are the face of your church and its biggest advocates. Communicate your passion through relationships with your members. Before long, they'll share your enthusiasm.
Here's an example. When you think of Apple, what do you think of? For many people, Steve Jobs immediately comes to mind. After all, he developed some of the most loyal brand advocates of any company around. It's real. You could feel his passion every time he spoke about Apple. Your passion has the power to inspire your community to tattoo your logo on their chests.
Just kidding, but you get the idea. Passion attracts people. When others see your passion, they'll be more receptive to your message .
5. Be Consistent
Perhaps one of the most important pieces of a good brand is consistency. Coca-Cola didn’t get into 200 countries by changing its mission statement or logo for each country. Once you know your brand, stick with it! If you’ve grown and need to re-evaluate, you can. Just don’t do it every week.
Oh, and remember how we talked about honesty? Well, consistency and honesty are kind of the same thing. Really, really important. Without a consistent brand, your community will get confused, lose interest, and gravitate elsewhere to find the trust they are seeking.
Consistency in logos can be especially tricky because your logo is the easiest piece of information for people to remember about your brand. Make sure your members support your re-brand if you choose to go down that route. Avoid re-branding pitfalls by taking a look at these logo redesigns gone bad.