Many churches and even church members don’t think of a church as a brand. A place to worship God and come together as a community, but not a brand.
Usually, brands are associated with for-profit businesses. However, non-profits, including churches, are definitely brands. That’s why you need to create a recognizable church brand.
Even with all the best branding intentions, until people start recognizing you, your branding and marketing aren’t as effective. All it takes is a little brainstorming and planning to create a brand people instantly connect with your church.
Find Words And Phrases That Represent You
Who are you as a church? Do you have a mission statement? What one phrase would you tell people to describe your church? Before you can create a recognizable church brand, you have to know yourself.
Your church is a mix of faith, community, staff, volunteers, purpose and history. It’s not always easy to define who you are. However, a brand is like a person. It has a almost human type of description when people talk about it.
Sit down and brainstorm a list of words and phrases that describe your church. Be honest and don’t limit yourself. You can narrow things down later by eliminating similar items.
When you’re finished, take a look and you’ll see your church’s character traits, personality and values all laid out for you. This is who you are. Turn this into a one or two sentence phrase to use as your branding. Go one step further to create a church tagline or motto that’s only one short phrase or sentence.
Now, when people see that phrase, they’ll start associating it with your church.
Choose A Single Personality And Voice
Church branding gets complicated quickly. Everyone has their own voice, so how do you create just a single personality for your entire church? While you might have a team working on your church brand, they have to speak as a cohesive unit. Remember, your church is a family and as such, your brand is your family’s voice as a whole.
Take a look at not only your church, but your members and local community. Use all three to create a single personality and voice that’s uniquely yours.
Think about how major brands seem to speak as a person. Use the traits you created in your brainstorming session to create a voice and personality for your brand. It’s also a good idea to take a look at how many popular brands have established their voices.
A popular example is always Coca-Cola. It’s not just the product that makes the brand popular. It’s the entire brand personality. Bright colors, a positive tone, happy ads and more all establish the brand as friendly, happy and exciting.
All of your branding should fit with your personality and voice. If you want happy, but part of your team constantly posts negative things on social media, you’re creating a confusing voice.
Pick Recognizable Colors
The last thing you probably think about when branding your church is a color scheme. As effortless as many brands make this seem, it’s a difficult decision. Part of the reason is you want to pick the right colors the first time.
The more often you change things, the less recognizable your church brand becomes. After all, if your logo goes from green one month to purple the next, people won’t automatically recognize who you are just from the visual.
With so many color combinations to choose from, it’s not easy. However, we’ve created a guide to helping your church choose a color scheme that works right for you.
Before you go public with it, test it out with your members. See what they think and what ideas they might have.
Know Your Audience
You interact with your members every week, so you obviously know them, right? Not always. Your church brand isn’t just interacting with people on Sundays. Instead, you’re creating a brand that interacts with people online and off. You’re not just interacting with your members either, but people in the community and all around the world.
Even if it’s just your members, how often do you ask about their thoughts and opinions? Is your church giving them what they really need?
Talk with your members. Let them help you understand what your church could do to better serve them. For instance, maybe a friendlier preaching style would bring in more people or giving members more chances to interact at church would bring people closer together.
Major brands create buyer or audience personas to help with this too. They use them to establish their average audience as a single person. This person has various traits, much like your church’s brand identity. From this, a brand creates a more targeted tone and strategy to fit with what the audience wants and needs most. Alexa has 10 examples to help you get started.
Use this process as a way of better understanding your members and your online followers. The more you understand, the easier it is to engage them and keep them coming back.
Be True To Yourself
No matter what, be true to yourself. Never compromise your church’s values to try to create a church brand. You don’t have to be like any other brand. You don’t have to post controversial things on social media to get attention or try to cater to every member’s feedback.
The one thing that will help your brand be recognizable above anything else is authenticity. Even online, many people can tell when a brand isn’t being honest.
Never try to just copy another church or brand. Be yourself to attract your target audience. One of the reasons there are so many churches is people have different needs. Use your brand to show what you offer so people can decide if your brand is right for them.
Plus, a honest brand connects with people better. Skip false hype, stay away from trends (unless they’re relevant to your church) and focus on what makes your church special.
Let Your Passion Shine
Sticking with authenticity, be passionate about your church. For instance, if you post an event, don’t just state the facts and move on. Let your excitement shine through. If it’s an important fundraiser for a community member, let your compassion for them come through in your tone and words.
When a brand is passionate not just about products and services, but their mission too, people connect with it better. You don’t have to be corny or force it. Just be honest and passionate.
You’ll likely see that once you establish a set tone and personality, this comes much easier. If any of your branding or marketing team members are struggling with this, let them create certain parts of your branding and let those who tend to be more passionate and excited create social media posts, blog posts, newsletters and other types of communication.
Design A Great Logo
What’s a brand with a logo? It’s like a name without a face. Your logo and your colors are two of the most important visual aspects of recognizable church brand.
The trick is ensuring those visual elements align with your church’s personality. For example, if you have a bubbly personality, but use all muted or dark colors for your logo, you’ll be seen as a much more solemn church. Of course, the opposite is true too.
The good thing is your church logo doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, in our list of top church logos, one of our choices, Limitless Church, only uses two colors and very simple, yet powerful graphic.
If you’re having trouble, hold a contest for members to create a logo. They can even help choose your colors. Give them words and phrases to inspire them along with any restrictions.
Showcase What’s Unique
There could easily be a dozen churches in your area. What makes your church unique? A brand has to be unique in some way. Are your services more engaging? Do you have a younger or older church family? Are you more diverse? Is community service what you’re passionate about?
Many brands have nearly identical products. It’s all in how they’re presented though. Creating a recognizable church brand means focusing on what it is that people love most about your church.
Ask your members what they love. Ask them for one or two things that make them want to attend your church over another. This will help you better showcase what’s unique about you. Also, ask your members for testimonials to further establish your brand identity and build relationships with your brand followers.
Have A Single Brand
Some churches get carried away with branding. They have a different brand for the church, another for volunteering, another for online giving and different brands for each ministry project.
That gets confusing quickly. Your church needs a single, cohesive brand. Otherwise, people will see each different brand as a completely different church. This isn’t the type of confusion you want to create.
Instead, ensure everyone’s on the same page. You can easily talk about everything related to your church under a single brand.
Have A Digital Presence
The more often people interact with your brand, the more they’ll recognize it. For example, if they’re scrolling through Facebook and see a post, they’ll be able to tell from the tone and the logo that it’s your church.
If they see results on Google, your logo and personality immediately make them think of your church. As you build a relationship with people, it’s much easier to recognize you.
That’s why you need a digital presence. Not only will interact with people offline, but you’ll expose more people to your church brand online. Post frequently on social media. Update your church blog. Guest blog on other sites. Host a podcast and/or guest on others.
One of the best ways to showcase your church’s personality and purpose is through storytelling. It’s also a highly effective way to connect with your audience. It’s a common branding technique that people love. Instead of just being a brand, you humanize your church into a relatable friend that people trust.
As HubSpot points out, storytelling isn’t just putting together words or asking for something. It’s creating a true interaction between you and your audience through engaging and emotional stories.
Use this to make your brand easier to relate to. The more people relate, the more they’ll interact and share. Word-of-mouth, both online and off, is still one of the best ways to increase brand awareness. You just have to reach that small group of people first. Luckily, you already have your church members.
Bring Everyone Together
It’s easy to make your church brand strictly about your church. You might talk about scripture, events, services, remodeling and so on. However, your church is so much more than this.
Your church is your staff, your members and your community. It’s stories of how church changes people for the better and how people help make churches better too.
Bring everything about your church together in your brand. Talk about your volunteers, get involved in what’s going on in your community, mention current events and tell stories from those you reach. By creating a brand that represents your entire church family, your become a brand people want to interact with.
Remember, branding is more about building relationships than selling something. Let your church brand encompass this. As you grow, you’ll be recognized as a community brand for everyone versus just another church.
Consistency Is Everything
As one final piece of advice, consistency is crucial. When you’ve decided upon a brand identity for your church, stick with it. When you’ve picked colors and a logo, keep them. You should even stay consistent with your communications.
Consistency is what keeps your brand in front of your audience. This helps them recognize you and know what to expect. Your church brand should be something solid that people can count on. Stay consistent and you’ll prove that you can be counted on.
Are you trying to establish a better church brand? Start with a church website to help showcase what’s unique and introduce people to your church’s personality and character.