What is Church Branding?
By Richard L Reising
The origins of “branding” are simple. Shape a piece of iron, put it in a fire, and shove it onto the hide of your livestock. It is a byproduct of sweat, fire and pain, but it yields an indelible impression – a lasting mark that creates a sense of belonging and sets one apart.
Over the last 20 years, this concept has been the cornerstone of the world’s greatest brands. When you see a commercial and you know whose it is before the company is mentioned – why is that? It is because they have and are effectively managing their brand. They are differentiating themselves from others and providing a symbol that draws those who favor their brand into a deeper sense of belonging.
When was the last time that you mistook a McDonald’s drink cup for a Starbuck’s one? You haven’t. They have their own brands – their own look, their own color scheme, their own style.
The corporate world has learned that in today’s media-saturated world, inconsistency does not work. Studies show that people are required to see a thing 4-5 times before they begin to remember it. It is a result of media overload. And if you are not consistent, you run the risk of never connecting with them at all. Your multiple efforts might be perceived as being from entirely different sources.
Church branding is the next level of evolution in church marketing. It allows you to accomplish so much more with your internal and external marketing tools than you could if you designed your pieces without the spirit of a brand. While it requires you to commit to a single style, it ensures that your communication carries your predetermined impression everywhere it goes.
When your congregation is proud of your brochure and they hand it to their friends… When the friends recognize the church because they had received a similar direct mail piece recently… When they visit the consistent website and are welcomed by the matching “welcome banners” in the parking lot… When the similar signage directs them to their destination with ease and when they open the complimenting bulletin shell… When these things happen, you truly shape the perception of the candidates for the gospel. You have made them aware that they are in a church that knows who they are and provides their message with the level of professionalism and planning that is due it.
When they give their lives to Christ, they will feel the true sense of belonging that your branding efforts only began to foster.
Create a lasting impression for your church. Provide your congregation with an image of something great – something they can be proud to be associated with – something worthy of this great Gospel!
An excerpt from the ChurchMarketing 101 Seminar, the section “Marketing Secrets of the Big Boys.”
Reising is a consultant to pastors and Christian leaders nationwide. He is also the President of Artistry Marketing Concepts, LLC—a Christian-based marketing and design firm. God called Richard from the corporate marketing arena to combine Biblical principles with marketing strategy in order to assist in seeing God’s Great Commission fulfilled.