Relentless Branding

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at

Sale-Relentless-Branding-ChurchI can spot an Old Navy commercial from a mile away. Maybe it’s the bright colors or the almost-recognizable celebrities or perhaps the fact that I used to work at an Old Navy in Minnesota. Whatever it is, their commercials are obvious. Unfortunately, their commercials aren’t always attractive, at least not to me. They are loud in every way possible. Loud announcer. Loud music. Loud colors. Yet these commercials keep coming. Their marketing must be working.

I think pastors and church creatives can learn a few things from Old Navy’s repetition.

1. Your organization should be recognizable.

Chances are my talent in noticing Old Navy commercials isn’t unique to me. The clothing company has had the same message for years. No matter what you’re saying in your church, you’re saying something. It’s essential for your church to be consistent in the words you communicate, especially when intentionally branding your church. Identify your church’s core values and let people know about them again and again. How many leadership books do we need to read until repetition seems repetitive? Either way, repetition is key to getting people to recognize your church.

2. Your church isn’t for everyone.

Like I said, I’m not super excited about Old Navy commercials, but someone is. It’s OK to not reach everyone. Decide who your church is touching and/or who you would like to minister to and do whatever it takes to get to them. And please understand that marketing your church won’t look the same way the megachurch down the road markets. That’s fine. Just be intentional with your messages.

3. If your content is good, people will ignore your flaws.

Even though I don’t like Old Navy commercials, I still wear their clothes. They’re good quality, readily available and priced low. Frankly, they have what I want and need.

As churches, we carry the most important content around. No other message needs to be conveyed more than Jesus’. Bottom line is that we have what people want and need. People will overlook things not working in our churches if they can connect to the Savior of the world. Figure out what you want to communicate, create a message and be relentless in pursuing your target audience. —Aaron Springer

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