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Branding... For Churches?

Fly strategically.

In our increasingly visual marketplace, people are bombarded by an unending stream of messages. Amidst the noise, churches must be more intentional and creative than ever as they step out in faith and seek to engage those outside their walls.

One real challenge is that those people who don’t ignore church entirely may view church as a good option, but not the best option on any given Sunday morning. So churches face “competition” not so much from other churches, but rather from football games, weekend sales, and from the relaxed reading of the Sunday paper with a cup of coffee.

Although Christian churches clearly should not view competition in the same way that for-profit companies do, they do face a similar set of challenges. To get noticed, even ministries must develop careful and highly intentional brands and brand communication strategies. Otherwise, they are unlikely to successfully convince anybody that they have anything profound, meaningful or perhaps even life-changing to offer.

Branding and Design are not Synonymous
This is why branding is about so much more than simply great design—even though great design will help in the process. Branding starts with developing a strategy that makes all creative design and execution more intentional. Branding involves making decisions about how you'd like to shape perceptions, in every interaction with every audience.

It is at this point that truly thoughtful design can begin. Employing tools that often include a visual identity system (starting with a logo), unified print pieces (brochures, stationery and other print collateral), and online media such as the Web, the designer--guided by a larger strategic vision--will create tools that are consistent and consistently effective.

Assuming that a church is authentically living out the message it wants to communicate, a carefully crafted brand—executed consistently—will help shape perceptions appropriately. Best case, this will result in someone becoming so intrigued by your message that he or she will take the next step with your church.

So What Does This Sort of Project Look Like?
A church branding project is as much a strategic consulting project as it is a design solution, and project elements will typically include interviews with leaders and church stakeholders. From there, the project could also involve everything from (on the higher-end) a brand audit and recommendations about next steps for a church looking to communicate more effectively, to on-site visits, to design components, which could include a logo/visual identity design, a Web site design, print and electronic collateral design, signage, or other services. Conducted on a large scale, such a project could include all of the above.

Because of the wide range of possibilities, we would want to have an in-depth conversation with your decision makers before we could scope out such a project.

If you are considering an overhaul to your existing brand communication tools—or the development of new tools and have never gone through this process—please call us. At worst, we believe the conversation will help you think through the various factors involved. At best, we may decide together that there is a good fit and that we should work together.

Call us at 866.342.5264. Let’s discuss the possibilities.

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