Branding is so much more than just a logo.
To fully understand your brand, you want to think about the entire experience one has with your church. This includes everything from your logo, Mission Statement, and Web properties to your worship style and sermons. But that's not all
Your church's brand is also impacted by the way you answer the phone, the cleanliness of your restrooms, the way your visitors are welcomed by your members, your community outreach, your children's check-in process, your landscaping, and more. Everything speaks!
In a nutshell, your brand is how your church is perceived. It is critical, therefore, to understand all that is involved in your church's brand. It can be a bit overwhelming, but the brand that you establish for your church will affect your reputation in the community even if you haven't put any conscious effort into creating one.
Let's look at 10 reasons why it is important that you develop a strong brand strategy for your church.
1. Branding Promotes Recognition
The marketing "rule of seven" states that a prospect must notice a brand or message seven times before they will take action. Consistent branding will help your potential guests recognize your church and feel more at ease about visiting.
2. Branding Sets You Apart
With so many churches, it is critical to stand apart. Though you are not in competition with other churches, your church has been called to live out the Great Commission in a unique way. If you try to be all things to all people, you risk reaching no one. Your brand will identify the ways in which your church is unique.
3. Your Brand Creates Connection
A strong brand connects with people at an emotional level, leading to positive feelings and a stronger bond when they interact with your church.
4. Branding Delivers On A Promise
What your community thinks and says about your church impacts their perception of the greater Church and Christ. What promise is your church living out? Is it in line with God's ultimate promise?
5. Your Brand Communicates Your Core Values
Your brand experience illustrates your core values to your members, visitors, and community. Is the interaction with your church telling the right story and pointing people to Christ? You want people to hear your church name or see your logo and remember you for the right reasons.
6. Your Brand Provides Motivation & Direction
Your church's brand strategy provides the clarity that your staff and members need to be successful in reaching collective goals.
7. Positive Branding Increases Participation
The more positive the image people have of your church, the more they perceive church participation as relevant in delivering significant spiritual and social benefits.
8. A Strong Brand Leads To More Invitations
People love to tell others about the brands they like. A strong brand will make people more inclined to wear and share your church's brand, meaning greater awareness and more invitations to your church.
9. Your Brand Sets Expectations
A brand that is consistent and clear puts people at ease because they know exactly what to expect each and every time they experience the brand.
10. Branding Creates Clarity & Focus
It's very easy to get sidetracked from your original goals or plans. A clear brand strategy helps you stay focused on your church's mission and vision. Your brand can help you be strategic and will guide your efforts saving time and money.
Your brand should permeate your entire church and overflow into your community. Is your brand living up to it's importance or does it need some work?
KATHRYN BINKLEY is founder and church marketing strategist with Alyght (Alyght.com) and marketing director for St. Peter's Church and World Outreach Center (SPWOC.com). She has 10 years of experience helping churches communicate more effectively.