No matter who you are or where you’re from, God has set you apart. Your experiences, your background, your character, and your personality make you who you are.
Did you know the same is true of your church? When we’re thinking about defining our church brand or church culture, it’s just the same as we would in our own lives. It starts with knowing what makes our church who we are.
When developing a church brand, we have to start with knowing what has made our church who we are.
Yes, a church brand is all about a font and logo that catches the eye. But before we get to colors and taglines, we have to know what our identify is as a church.
Here are 4 steps the Creative Team at Life.Church recommends when you’re looking to create your church brand. Watch The Plan Before the Brand to learn more.
1. Determine Your Branding Keywords
Branding keywords are 3-5 words that are the defining characteristics of who you are.
Start by looking at all of the means of communication that your church or ministry has. Whether it’s on stage communication, emails, documents, social media, or otherwise, it’s great to put these all out before you next to each other. Is there any common language that you hear? What similarities or themes emerge across different mediums?
Once these are distilled down to as few words as possible, you have your brand keywords!
2. Define Your Audience
Who is your audience? In an ideal world, what type of people do you want your ministry or church to attract?
Sometimes our current audience isn’t necessarily the audience that we’re going after, and this definitely needs to be a part of the conversation. Don’t define your audience based on what others are doing or what you think you should be doing right now. We always have to be true to who we are when we’re defining our audience. Oftentimes our desired audience is hidden inside some of the trends we noticed when coming up with our branding keywords.
You’re probably already communicating to your desired audience – just take a moment and define it as specifically as you can.
3. Develop Your Brand
Once you’ve determined your 3-5 branding keywords and defined your audience, then you can move onto the design elements.
Any creative elements, whether it be fonts, colors, graphics or logo designs, can be easily filtered through these two things. Is this font attractive to our audience or is it too young or too professional? Does using this color communicate the keywords you’ve developed?
When it comes to your church brand, every decision you make will convey a message to an audience about your church.
You have to make sure what comes across through your branding is true about you and that it’s coming across to the right audience.
4. Design A Branding Book
One of the last steps to creating your church brand is communicating it to those within your church, ministry, or organization.
How do you get everyone on the same page when it comes to your new branding guidelines? It’s important to communicate your branding standards to the team in a way that inspires them to evolve with the brand. This is why it’s important to remember to communicate the why behind what you’re doing.
That’s why we recommend creating a branding book to be accessible to your entire team. It’s important to spend time in the first section of this document casting vision for the new branding. If people understand why it’s important, they’ll catch the vision for what you’re doing and be inspired to pursue excellence as they represent your church in the future.
If we help people understand the WHY behind the WHAT, then the WHAT is going to be a lot easier to remember.
The rest of your branding book can encompass the specifics — fonts, colors, language, and everything in between. Check out the Life.Church Branding Guidelines for an example of what your branding book could look like.
Creating a church brand is all about developing our identity, not recreating it. It’s about accurately portraying our ministry to our desired audience. We can’t turn to the left or to the right and determine to mimic something that another church is doing. Something that may be working well for them might not be what God has for us.
This is why it’s important to remember where you came from and what has made your church who you are. God has called your church to do ministry where you are for such a time as this. We must step into all that He has for us as we seek to create our church brand!
Want to learn more on this subject? Here are 6 Things the Hillsong Team has Learned About Church Branding.
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