First of all, let us consider the terms “marketing” and “branding”. I promise that they are not dirty words, and they really aren’t as scary as you might think. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as a function and set of processes an organisation uses to create, communicate and deliver value to its customers. It is the way in which an organisation manages its relationship with its customers. If you change the word organisation to church, and customers to community, you can see how marketing can be a relevant strategy for your church.
Back to the American Marketing Association again, this time with their definition of a brand. Essentially, this is any feature that distinguishes one seller’s goods or services from another seller’s. In other words, branding is about identity and identification. Your brand communicates to your audience who you are and why you are relevant to them. Again we can see how this would be relevant to a church. Ultimately marketing and branding are about perception. How does your community perceive you?
Even if your church doesn’t have a marketing and branding strategy at present, the community will already have a perception of your church from what it does, or doesn’t do, within that community. This may be positive or negative, accurate or inaccurate. By using marketing and branding your church can better take control over that perception.
The first step is to determine your church’s identity. To do this you should consider these kinds of questions:
Who makes up the core of your congregation?
Who are you trying to attract?
What message are you trying to get across?
Why should people come to your church?
Is your church large, small, traditional, modern, formal, informal etc.?
Once you can answer these questions you can then move forward with communicating this identity, and one important element of this communication is a logo. A logo can condense your church’s identity into an easily recognisable image that can be used across multiple forms of media to create a consistent brand. As a highly visual species humans respond well to the language of signs and symbols, and we remember them easily.
A well-designed logo along with an effective branding and marketing strategy can help your church and its message reach a wider audience by positively and accurately communicating its identity. This quote from WorshipTechie.com puts it best “A church that’s indifferent to how it is perceived by the community is as damaging as one who only cares about its image. A church that has vision and cares about spreading the Gospel should properly manage its appearance in a way that draws and invites new hearers.”