As we go through life, we identify things through some or all of our senses. The average human has 5 senses to assist us. If a brand is what you’re known for, you need to ensure your brand focuses on as many senses as possible. And controlling them so your audience instantly recognizes you.
Can it work for a church brand? Should it? God established the senses so we understand and remember things. In fact, in the Old Testament, He set up the Temple layout, offerings, and operations around our senses. From the way things looked to the way things smell, taste, feel, and sound.
Want to be known for something? First, discover your thread (solution to your audience’s needs or concerns; or a path to their goals). But then? Ensure your brand makes sense of the 5 senses:
- Sight. Your visual brand is the most understood component because we live in a visual world. Establishing and controlling a logo is critical. But it doesn’t stop there: set brand fences for colors, fonts, and design style. In fact, you may want to control shapes of images, graphic elements, and/or the overall look of your brand (architecture, signage, brochures, etc.)
- Sound. Your on-campus brand starts in your parking lot and continues through your programming. When someone gets out of their car, what does it sound like? Is it controlled? Is there music? Happy bantering? Natural sounds? It can be subtle, but you need to establish a regular sound for your church’s brand. Then maintaining it in the lobby, the pre-service, the worship time, and the exit. Remember, most will remember the end more than any other time. Don’t break outside of your sound or you risk a brand disconnect. What about your youtube channel, social media posts, website? Are there intro/extro sounds that need establishing?
- Touch. This is more difficult. Your brand relies on your finishes too. Do you have a high-end matte feel? Glossy slick feel? Or when you pass plates, is there a controlled feel to everything? What about your pews or chairs? Or is it a handshake or hug? COVID may have to change those!
- Smell. Hmmmm. What does your church smell like? World-class brands control that. Is it an open-air smell? Coffee brewing? Bakery smells? Clean smell? Or an old-church smell?! For many, based on where they sit regularly, it’s an old-person perfume smell. HVAC add-ons can help release smells through your church to help with the control of smells. Just make sure it’s not something that people might be allergic to. Or find abrasive, chemical, or fake. It ultimately should feel like your church and make someone feel comfortable. Yet unique enough to remind people of your church.
- Taste. Even more difficult: if your church can control the flavor of your church through tastes, your brand will be even stronger. Think how people taste things in church: communion, lobby snacks, potluck suppers, breakfasts, or even a Sunday School drink. Consider brand fences that could be established. Maybe, tastes are always all-natural. Or nutritious. Or high end coffee shop style. Ensure you can sustain it (for almost everyone) and control it for your church’s experience.