In the previous post, Branding Your Church Like a President, we acknowledged that a solid brand starts with the look, mannerisms, and presence of the candidate. However, a successful candidate (like a successful brand), goes beyond the “big speech” and becomes something people keep talking about.
To grow your brand you need to consider the main factor in success: What Others Say About You.
According to PR Newswire, word of mouth is the #1 influence to purchase decisions in the consumer world. In fact, WOMMA studies recently revealed that 54% of purchase decisions are made based on word of mouth.
While we all know that most churches don’t have a bookstore and aren’t selling a tangible product, the fact is that visitors, much like a consumer, still need to have “buy-in” to come visit in person. Think about it this way:
Who would you trust more about advice on a political candidate…your close friend or a paid campaign commercial?
For healthy brand awareness, your community needs to hear about your brand from people they know and trust. You need brand ambassadors, people who are so excited about you that they can’t wait to bring you up in conversation.
Capitalize on word of mouth by creating amazing print and promotional items for your brand ambassadors. Deciding on the best tools requires knowing your audience, both who they are and where they are. Whatever promotional medium you decide on, remember that all pieces need to include your web address. This ensures that you are funneling the community from “unaware to engaged” and from “engaged to active brand ambassador.”
Here are a few unique ways to promote your ministry through your brand ambassadors:
- Awareness bracelets are a fun, trendy way to let your volunteers/membership communicate that “I am all in,” while offering a great conversation starter.
- Print your web address on every t-shirt you ever order – everyone loves the cotton, so why not invest in shirts that allow your brand ambassadors to wear your colors proudly?
- Professional invite cards – set the excellence factor high for that sermon series or event you’re hosting by working with professional designers to create 4”x6” postcards for your members to hand out.
- FAQ Card – a simple 3”x5” FAQ card can circulate beautifully in your community…answering questions from “What is the church like?” to “Why should I go to church, much less, yours?” can help reduce fear (a significant barrier to entry) and make folks comfortable enough to visit in person.
Even though you’re not on a campaign trail, we’ve got to be branding like there’s no tomorrow. After all, we have the greatest story ever told to share! So rely on your brand ambassadors; as long as they have the goods they need to promote your brand with excellence, set ‘em loose!
Check out the Church Marketing Ideas eBook for research on various marketing types to help you choose the best ways to equip your brand ambassadors.
[Top image via Tim Morgan]