Church leadership has determined they want a new church brand. You’ve worked with a professional to build it (I hope). This is huge! It’s like updating your wardrobe so you’re known for something different than now. Changing perception of who you are. A new wrapper around all ministries.
If you don’t understand the importance of the launch, your new brand will fail.
Based on 30+ years of brand rollouts, here are 6 essentials to making it worth all the money you’re spending. And most importantly, so you engage effectively with your community and congregation!
- Understand your 5 brand components: Thread (tagline), Logo, Color Palette, Font Palette, Design Style Guide. Your thread is really your brand since it establishes your brand promise (story) for your audiences. It’s the memorable emotional aftertaste once someone has “tasted” your ministries. Therefore, it’s the most important of all brand components. It’s the cumulation and outward-facing language of your vision and mission. Then your visual elements (all the other components) simply represent the thread as a visual cue. Your logo needs to be simple and controlled (perhaps a vertical and horizontal option). Extensions for your ministries need to be locked down (so they build your umbrella brand). Controlled palettes of 2-3 colors and 2-3 fonts start to represent you as you use them in all materials. Your style guide simply suggests how everyone will control design components and usage. Don’t have a good understanding of all of this? Don’t move forward. You can’t launch something you don’t know.
- Educate ministry Leadership. Your entire staff must have working knowledge of brand components. Make sure all questions are answered and conflicts cured.
- Determine a Launch Date. Look at your ministry calendar, you want a date to reach as many people in your congregation as possible. To throw a huge party and not have to convince people to come. Sunday in a special season or during a ministry focus is perfect.
- Create a work-back Schedule. Knowing the launch date, calculate how long you have to do the next steps. Most churches need 2-3 months to plan a successful launch.
- Be Creative with ALL your Channels. Everything (!) must announce the new brand. Since the Sermon is the key communication channel, I’d suggest a 2-4 wk sermon series before launch. Be creative building the foundation of your thread. The why to “why our church exists” and “why most attend”. It’s setting everyone up with the language so they can answer: “why do you attend our church?”. Then on launch day, your website, social media, emails, banners, signage, etc. must be ready with the new brand. Consider a useable launch giveaway with the new brand on it.
- Control your Language and Brand. Launching a new brand is all about control. Starting with your leadership — all old branding must be gone and new branding controls in place. All language (keywords) must be controlled everywhere. Plus all 5 brand components! Only if your staff controls everything consistently over time will the congregation pick up the value of the new brand. Then the community stands a chance to know who you are and why they “may” want to experience you. This takes about 2-3 years of consistency to happen.