Church branding 101 are the basics that you can do-it-yourself (DIY). Many churches can’t afford to hire an agency, nor do they have someone qualified on staff, but they understand church branding is important.
And it is! Remember, church branding is more than a logo. It’s understanding what you’re known for and deciding if that’s what you should be known for. It’s about correcting the church’s perception to a lost world.
It’s not easy, but Church Branding 101 is simple. Here are 6 DIY steps. If done properly, the Holy Spirit can use your church branding to reach people who never knew they needed Jesus. Or the church!
Church Branding 101 is Evangelism 101.
- Understand and fall in love with your community. Start by plotting your families on a Google map. Look at clustering and eliminate outliers. Create a polygon around the main group. Then contact your denomination office and ask them to assess your area demographically. You’ll be amazed at the data. This is who needs Jesus around you. Fall in love with your reach area.
- Listen to your congregation. Create listening groups within your church that correspond to the age groups in your community (boomers, millennials, etc.). It’s best to get a non-staff person who is well-liked to have a conversation with them. Ask why they chose the church. And if they know why anyone has left. What the church is doing right. What they’d like to improve. Compare group data.
- Stereotypically describe who you’re great at reaching. Knowing the reach area demographics and what you’ve learned from listening groups, describe the easiest group to communicate to and reach (called a Persona). What makes them part of the group? Age? Gender? Marriage status? Kids? Occupation? Needs? Concerns? Goals? Be specific and make sure there’s enough in your community to sustain growth.
- Discover a church branding thread that connects with the Scarlet thread. Since people love a simple tagline that says what the benefit of attending is; create a unique, 3-5 words thread (tagline) that uses usable language that implies a pain point and/or a solution your want to be known for. It probably won’t sound religious but your church can use its engagement to connect to the Gospel.
- Create a visual wrapper for the thread. In our visual world, people need a controlled logo, brand fonts, and colors, that represent you. Make sure the logo is simple, unique, professional, and your persona would probably accept a gift with the logo on it. Use a designer. Please.
- Use communication tools to create a journey to a solution. Church Brand 101 has now uncovered a target audience, revealed needs, concerns, and goals; and you have a thread that gives a benefit (solution to a need or concern; a path to a goal). Now consider ministry onramps that would attract your persona (probably online), and the steps for them to discover your ministry solutions. Ensure your members know how to connect your church branding thread to the Gospel message.