Every church or organization that lasts a while, will, at some point consider a rebrand. Some are not only bold enough to think about it, but they also follow through with it. Considerations for a rebrand are not always easy. With many things to think about, it can be overwhelming.
Reasons For A Rebrand:
A brand, in part, and for the context of this post, is a visual representation of who you are. “You” being the individual, church, organization and so on. Rebranding can be necessary for relevance and remaining relatable.
Unless it’s the in the thing, the likelihood of most people in engaging your style from the 1950s is slim at best. Ever looked at some visuals and thought, “The 80s called and they want their stuff back?”
Updating visual expression of who you are can be about tapping into present design trends. Of course, you don’t want to chase every fad and want to be as ‘timeless’ as possible (whatever that is).
The Other Way(s) We Communicate
How you look matters. The visual aspect of branding is about starting a conversation with people– the introduction. How your organization ‘looks’ matters because it determines whether people talk to you or not. Have you typed a URL in the browser address bar then closed the tab after it loaded?
Design is not only a matter of looking good or nice, but it’s also about being inviting. “Hey, we thought about you enough to present ourselves in a way we hope is easy to understand. Our great Message matters so much we’ve put in extra effort to present it the best way we can.”
Remember that we not only communicate using text. Images and color can be powerful ways of communicating too.
Because You Can.
Make art for art’s sake. Creativity is a God-given gift and we can rebrand because we’re feeling creative. I’m not suggesting a rebrand every time you feel creative. I’m saying you don’t need a crisis or something to be wrong to ‘freshen up’.
Sometimes churches have names of suburbs or cities they’re in but end up growing out their locations. This is definitely grounds for rebranding.
Whatever the reason, every now and then every church needs to ask itself, “Visually, is this the best way can communicate who we are?” When you do that there are also a few things to keep in mind.
Considerations For A Rebrand
Mine Too– Ownership.
You don’t own your brand. People connect with it and it becomes personal. They’re invested in it. Some organizations have changed their logos and suffered the backlash from their customers. At some point you stop owning your brand and your stakeholders do.
Never rush in to rebrand because you feel like it. Keep in mind that people have relationship with your brand. They’ve come to embrace and love the familiarity (not all them). There are people who are always happy to “change this up bit”, but the majority aren’t.
Church leaders can suffer ‘attacks’ after church rebrands without much thought.
So, when you decide or feel the church needs to rebrand, think about how you’ll walk the journey with your congregation. You might want to warn them or bring them along a little. Not everyone will agree all the time but there is a way that can minimize the ‘damage’. Be considerate when you rebrand.
Before you start, make sure you count the cost. A haphazard rebranding exercise can be expensive. It will cost man hours, designer fees, new signage, stationery and a ton of other things. This is something that needs careful planning. You’re not just changing a logo, you’re potentially changing your building, staff uniforms (if that’s your thing).
You might need to run an ad campaign to let your community know. It might be necessary to avoid unhealthy speculation and reputation. Count the cost.
Not everyone connects or will connect with your (new) brand out the gate. How you express yourself as a community or organization isn’t for everyone. Then again, everyone thinks their child is the most intelligent. 😉
We all have our quirks and your organization is just as unique. Be thoughtful and deliberate. Whatever you do in your rebrand make sure it’s you; don’t be who you’re not.
I searched ChurchMag after writing this post and discovered a podcast episode. Here’s a throwback podcast on ChurchMag’s rebrand a short while ago: Rebranding ChurchMag and Your Church [Podcast #89]
Any tips / thoughts to add?