06 May The 3 Important Elements of a Church Brand
Those of us working in church communities often think that marketing and branding isn’t for us, or that it’s more of a distraction from our real mission to serve others. After all, aren’t things like “brand development” more for for-profit companies? Sure, the idea of branding was perfected in the corporate world, but branding is extremely necessary for churches, too.
Your brand is the identity you’re presenting to your community. Even when you don’t make specific branding efforts, you’re already projecting a brand based on your mission, and the actions you take in your services and actions.>It’s best to spend some time to clarify what you want your church’s brand to be to make sure you stay consistent and avoid confusing members and potential members.
1. A Unique Mission
You likely know exactly what makes your church different from all the other churches in your area. It’s probably the reason you decided to create your own church instead of joining an existing one, and it’s the reason that most of your congregation has chosen to attend your church instead of the others nearby.
The challenge is to make sure that your would-be members understand your unique character quickly and easily, and you can do that by making sure it’s clearly stated in your mission.
Many churches already have mission statements, but for branding purposes, these statements are usually too vague. “Sharing Christ’s love” might not be enough to really communicate to a potential member what they can expect if they join your church family.
If you struggle to come up with a specific but concise mission statement, reflect on your congregation. As a church, you’re called to be of service to those around you. What needs have you been particularly called to serve through the work in your church? Consider all of your past breakthroughs as you craft a mission statement.
2. Mission-Based Visual Appeal
Now that you’ve reflected on your role in the community to create a mission statement, you can use the words from that unique mission statement to create some basics for a visual brand.
I know that we churches don’t have huge marketing budgets, but thankfully, creating a visual brand and trying to stay consistent with those visuals can be done affordably.
Here are the basics: You need to choose a handful of colors to use, choose a primary font (typeface), and then use those to create a logo. The logo should be used consistently on all of your church’s merchandise, programs, signs, etc.
Again, many of us already have a church logo. However, for the purposes of branding, ask yourself how much your logo reflects your church’s unique character. If some of the words you’d use to describe your church are joyful and inclusive, perhaps using flat, calm colors with a traditional type font is the wrong choice.
Options for logo design abound, but it’s worth checking to see if anyone in your congregation has graphic design experience and would consider helping you with your logo needs.
3. Consistency Throughout
Without consistency, all your work creating a brand will have been for nothing. For you to establish your church as a “familiar face” in the community, you can’t present yourself in different ways depending on the situation.
Developing a brand and staying consistent with that brand has perks far beyond creating a clear community identity for your church. Because your brand is the summary of the mission you’re striving to achieve, staying on-brand means that you’re staying focused on what’s important to you and not being distracted from your church’s greater mission.
To make sure you stay consistent, include your church staff, advisors and elders in the brand creation process and discuss the need for consistency. Designate someone on staff as the brand manager. As you embark on new projects and create new programs, take a moment to ask yourself if they’re consistent with your brand.