Imagine having the opportunity to talk with a church branding expert with decades of experience. Having a conversation about things that most people don’t understand.
I wish I had had that relationship back when I got started in the industry. Perhaps I could’ve but was too focused on design, logos, fonts, and the latest software. And trends that constantly changed.
Wait! That’s what I see when I watch the church communication facebook groups. It’s banter and challenging the “latest”. Instead, they should be establishing foundational truths that have been tried and tested over the years. Maybe these “secrets” don’t get talked about a lot. But they’re essential.
Here are 5 church branding secrets that give greater understanding to this industry:
- Without audience definition, you can’t build a brand. Effective branding rises and falls on understanding an audience. If you don’t clearly know your personas (stereotypical descriptions and boundaries of audience segments) you’re just attempting to talk to everyone. And that’ll fail almost every time. Effective branding starts with demographic assessment.
- A thread makes it so much easier. Brand positioning (thread) sets you apart. If your community’s churches were lined up, what makes yours different? This is your brand. If not controlled, people will determine what you’re known for and expectations will be uncontrollable (like architecture, race, style, Pastor, etc.). Discover your thread and build on that.
- There’s trial and, gulp, error. Great branding is based on solid research. But the creativity component is risky. It’s stepping out within parameters and trying to be different. Unique thinking can be wrong. Branding is awareness, identifying errors, and course-correcting.
- It’s about controlling everything. Church communication (marketing) requires tools, content, channels, and people working harmoniously to build perception and guiding an audience to understand what you have to benefit them. Want success? You must control everything. If you don’t enjoy guiding, correcting, and writing guardrails to herd cats; this branding world isn’t for you. Branding is about creativity within the box. But you get to build the box!
- It’s never “finished”. I smile when a Pastor team say “when will everything be done?”. Sure, branding components like demographic analysis, logo, color palette, font limitations, graphic standards, and graphics can be completed for a time but the full process is a series of incremental benchmarks into the future. Once something is “done”, you should be setting goals for what needs to be done next with dates to accomplish it. This doesn’t mean changing things continuously, it means improving regularly to keep the communication fresh. Controlled. And that’s an exciting and challenging 24/7 process that never ends. Watching your brand come to life and expand over time (all while your congregation grows with it)!