It’s about your “why”.
Why do you do what you do, and how do you communicate it?
This is the single most important question that weighs heavily on the heart of every great leader. When it comes to branding, having the freshest look is not the most important thing; knowing who you are and how you’re communicating it is. We work with companies and churches from pre-launch to decades down the road, developing a consistent brand experience strategy, from initial look and feel to distribution of assets across every medium. As you begin to distribute your brand across your campus and around the world, people will make the leap from curious bystander to engaged followers.
- Your brand is your reputation.
- Branding positions you.
- Marketing brings the two together to share an effective story.
We make this happen by sprinting, hard.
Each sprint consists of five, equally valued components.
To develop a brand, you must understand your mission, history, audience, and future. Once understood, you sketch; starting with the end in mind and knowing there are multiple steps from concept to validation. After sketching, you decide on a single path forward to create a final solution. Once a decision is made, you share it with your audience, receiving criticism and either move forward or sketch again. If your efforts are validated by your audience, then you can transfer ownership from a select few to the masses.
Creativity that works requires a proven process.
Your brand is more than a look and feel: it’s you. It is what people see from you, both real and perceived. The aim is to help you set the tone right from the start, because what you start off with is ultimately what you end up with. How you do this is as uniquely you, as it is uniquely us. We break down our standards in four sequences, while narrowing in on the brand identity sequence:
- Brand Identity
- Brand Strategy
- Brand Voice
- Brand Execution
What makes you uniquely you?
Describe the things that make you, you. Don’t just list your hopes and dreams; give us your specifics and measurables. Lay out the things that are you and you only, not the church down the street or the church you’ve always dreamed of becoming. Think: look and feel, target audience, location within city, etc …
No one else can be you, but you.
People tend to get in trouble when they attempt to copy someone else’s church. The thing is: We may all share the same mission of making disciples, but we cannot all share the same process of seeing that through. We are different: geographically, demographics, strengths and weaknesses, size and scope of ministry, and the list goes on.
Ask 100 people in your neighborhood: What do you think of us?
As you do this, you begin to see how others see you. That is your sweet spot, warts and all. Own this. Own what people think about you and leverage that to propel you forward and not push you down. There is nothing wrong with a brand identity that is 180 degrees different than what you think it should be. There are no “should be’s”; only “is”.
Does it mean it’s too late to change?
Absolutely not. We do re-brands all the time. At least 1/3 of our branding projects are re-brands or renewals. However, you cannot change who you are. While you can shift perceptions, it is nearly impossible to completely reimagine yourself. If God created people and churches to be unique, then this law would dictate that you are who you are, and no amount of imagination could or should change it.
If you do, then you’ve got a marketing problem. Stick around for a few more posts, and we will make sure we cover that one too. For now, lean into your unique brand identity and full embrace who God is making you in your neighborhood.
You’re there for a reason. Make it pop. Just like these five churches who stopped, listened, and made adjustments. You can do it. You’re not alone. This mission is way to big to give before you get off the ground.