Believers are called to fellowship (Heb 10:25) and encourage one another. Our local churches become our family. But if we focus internally only, our churches will never grow. We’re called to more.
Church branding is simply being known for something relevant and needed to a specific group. Something that’s reliable and recognizable — the heart of marketing (taking a product/service to a particular market). Since Christianity has THE greatest Message (life conquering death), we must seek who God allows us to influence and create a “brand” that will not only keep us true to our scriptural mission; but also be attractional to a world needing to hear our message.
Here are the 5 steps to a missional church brand; one your community will WANT to listen to:
- Know your biblical mission. The bible says the local church needs to evangelize. Simply put? We’re called to take the Gospel to the people we influence (Matt 28:18-20; 2 Tim 2:15, 4:2). This is the heart of biblical marketing. Also the church is called to protect that message (1 Tim 3:15) and live the Truth (Eph 3:10). This can be uniquely voiced for your church (mission/vision/values) but ultimately your brand needs to be built in unity with the biblical mission and not in opposition. Church branding is entirely about evangelism! Reaching the lost.
- Know your community. To take any message to anyone, you need to know how to get their attention. This is a problem today since a plethora of communication attempts are being made. That noise has trained us to ignore anything that doesn’t appear interesting; therefore effective communication rises and falls on how well you know your audience! How? Plot where your members live and create a polygon around the majority. This is the easiest area to reach since the people living in the area are similar to those who attend your church (birds of a feather flock together). Get a solid demographic study of your area. Find out everything you can about them.
- Know how to engage them. The easiest way to get people to look up from their noisy world? a) say their name, b) talk felt needs, or c) offer unexpected solutions. Creating paths to goals is also an attention-grabber! Just say it as concisely as possible, since no one listens for a long time (thanks to short attention spans). Discover a thread to focus on: 3-5 words that voice the benefits of all you do and why someone might want to experience your ministry.
- Know how to stay on thread. That thread is what you should be known for. To do that? Weave that tagline (brand story or positioning) through ALL your ministries. Put on “thread glasses” and see everything (internal and external activity) through the lens of your thread. Voice as much as possible so your congregation uses your thread language. And by using controlled word-of-mouth language, your community will hear what they might want. And your communication tools (web, social, email) will be loved by search engines as they point to you for community solutions. Finally, after you engage your audience, you can connect your thread to the Gospel (our mission)!
- Know your visual brand. Like you control your thread language, you must associate a controlled visual brand to everything you do (simple logo, design style, color and font palette). So our visual world identifies what you look like as they pursue your thread. Learn your brand guardrails!