Branding is often misunderstood. Take a trendy logo, slap it onto a website, business cards and maybe a few pens and you have a brand. Right? Wrong! Branding is the ongoing, intentional process to educate your audience about who you are and invite people to interact with you.
In the season of heavy political debate and aggressive campaigning, let’s look at the brand of the presidential candidates. When preparing to present to an audience, the candidate does more than put on a suit. He has to present his entire brand – he’s incredibly well-dressed, clean shaven and wears a friendly smile. His verbal tone and intentional mannerisms also contribute to his personal brand.
Each detail enforces the type of person you perceive him to be. In fact, he has an entire team that manages his brand…speech writers, wardrobe designers, consultants, strategists, stylists and more.
Branding is so much more than just your logo – it is the culmination of who you are and how you are seen.
Even though we can’t clothe an organization, we can ensure that consistent design and graphics dress our promotional materials. We can train up brand evangelists that, not only know our core values and purpose, but make it their own. Next time you think about your brand, keep this equation in mind as the true and total definition of your brand.
While a logo may be the face of your brand (i.e. the graphic focal point and foundation of all your branding and outreach pieces), the real hub of information is the place where everything you do and say is directed. For a church, it is the website.
According to Your Church Magazine:
“Currently 80% to 85% of people are finding their church based on Web sites.”
This begs the question, “What will their first impression of you (typically online) dictate?” Marketing Profs recently stated:
“Google reports that 9 out of 10 people visit your website before calling you, clicking through, or reaching out in any way.”
This data indicates not only how important your site is, but the true value of everything you do online and off and how it directs people to your site.
It takes 7 encounters with your brand before someone will act on it. Each promotion your organization communicates should funnel to your website and act as the gateway to your church. Ask yourselves these questions to see if you are presenting your brand in the best way possible:
- What 7 encounters does your audience experience?
- What are you communicating about your organization across each of those mediums?
- Are you making the most of each outreach attempt?
Whether you’re a presidential nominee or not, the brand you convey across media, print and web is continually defining you to your audience. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to identify and define ways to carry your brand across multiple platforms and offer ideas to create depth and intentionality in your branding strategy.
If you’re eager to find out more, check out this free eBook on Church Marketing Ideas which defines various outreach mediums and ways to effectively utilize them.