When we hear the word "brand," we usually think "corporate." It might be a difficult subject to talk about in the context of a church because a church isn't a business. But what if I told you your church already has a brand, whether you did anything about it or not?
What is a Brand?
Surprisingly, the origin of a brand identity didn't come from the corporate world. According to Skyword, the word "brand" as a verb meant to mark livestock with a hot iron. When livestock grazed on open land, branding helped to identify each owner's livestock. While this is what we call branding, the practice is much older than this word.
Did you know that God brands his followers in the truest sense? Ephesians 1:13 says that we were included in Christ when we heard the word of truth, and having believed, we were marked with a seal — the Holy Spirit. We are identified as children of God by that seal.
So, what is a brand, and why do we say your church already has one? A brand is what identifies you from all others — your distinctive, what sets you apart. It's what people know about you. It's the relationship they have with you. It's the sum of their experiences and perceptions about who you are and what you are. It's how you act and react as an organization. And it's how you do all this as compared to others do it.
Does Your Church Have a Brand?
Your church has a brand if people can interact with you — if they can see you and hear you. Most churches put a lot of energy into helping their guests feel welcome and that their members feel connected. You want to be known as a church that loves people and meets each individual at their point of need. If you are successful, your congregation and community will experience this, and when they speak of you to others, this is what they will say.
No organization owns its brand. A brand is how your audiences identify you. How each person identifies your church is based either on the relationship and experiences they've had with you or on the perceptions they have of you based on someone else's experiences and relationship.
What Can You Do?
If you don't own your brand, what can you do? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Want to learn more? Schedule a FREE session with one of our coaches to find ways to improve your church's messaging.
Don Wambolt has over 25 years' experience in leading church communications. More