A common misconception about branding is that it is only for businesses. While a church or ministry doesn't necessarily have a "product" that it's trying to "sell," they rely on their brand to communicate their vision, mission and ministry identity.
Branding makes your mission and vision tangible; It brings the heart of your organization to life.
Practically speaking, branding includes your logo, name and slogan. It also includes printed materials, websites, social media, t-shirts, car stickers, educational materials and event names. Creating a brand for your organization will help people in your congregation and the community identify and relate to your church or ministry.
Let's take a deeper look at the importance of branding and how to create a brand that powerfully boosts your church or ministry.
Communicate Identity and Value
Churches and ministries are about as diverse as God's creation. I think that is a very beautiful thing! Just as we show our individuality through our different languages, the clothes we wear and various interests, a nonprofit can also have its own identity to communicate its "personality," if you will.
Along with identity, your brand will communicate your values. There are foundational values that God gives to all in ministry, but some values He places in each church's individual DNA. Examples may include reaching the lost, discipleship, equipping leaders, prophecy, raising godly families and so many more.
With these concepts in mind, let's talk about how to start creating your brand!
6 Steps to Create Your Brand
1. Choose a name. When it comes to choosing the right name for your church, here are a few guidelines you'll want to keep in mind.
—Make it easy to remember.
—Pick a shorter name.
—Leave out complicated words (unless it has core relevance).
—Stay away from "trendy" words.
—Choose words that will stand the test of time.
—Pick something with meaning (examples: a Scripture or a life event in which you encountered God).
Something to consider: Don't be afraid to be unique with your name. If your name is too generic or too many other ministries share the same or similar name, you may encounter trademarking issues. We will discuss this in more detail later.
2. Create your mission and vision statements. Vision is the all-encompassing ideals that your ministry will carry, and your mission is how you will carry out your vision.
For example, your vision statement may be: "Our vision is to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ in all nations."
To continue our previous example, your mission statement may be: "Our mission is to equip existing and new believers through teaching, training and evangelism within the United States and the globe."
3. Create your logo. There are many ways to create your logo. I encourage using what's called a mood board. To create one, you can use a platform like Pinterest to gather photos, other logos, colors, fonts and so on that inspire the look and feel you'd like for your brand.
Once that's created, pick what kind of logo you want. Do you want just a text logo? An icon logo? Both together?
The next step is to pick your brand colors. To help you generate color palettes, coolors.co is a great resource to use.
Our Church Branding ebook serves as a complete guide to creating your very own brand for your church or ministry! Learn the practical steps to creating a logo, brand colors, trademarking and so much more. Click the here to access the ebook or give us a call at 888-979-2524 to learn more!
4. Create your slogan. A slogan is a "catchphrase" of your church or ministry. This could be a sentence or a series of words. Here are a few examples:
—"Teach. Equip. Send."
—"Shining our light before men"
—"Building the kingdom through love"
You want your slogan to encapsulate the heart and mission of your ministry. It should be memorable—something when people read it, they clearly know your church's or ministry's purpose.
For example, if you use a powerful slogan like "the church for the unchurched," those unfamiliar with you will get an instant idea of what you are about! This will draw the right audience through your doors that God is calling you to reach.
5. Establish your trademark. Once you've created your brand, you will want to protect it by establishing your trademark.
A trademark is a legal term for "any word, name, symbol, device or any combination, used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods and services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of those goods and services."
Trademarks are registered so that other organizations cannot adopt the same branding likeness—whether it be the name, logo or slogan. While this may sound harsh, this will help protect you from legal issues that may arise down the road.
To obtain a trademark, you can apply with the United States patent and trademark office. Additionally, lawyers who specialize in this kind of legal work will be a great help in protecting your ministry brand and intellectual property.
We talk more in-depth on this topic within our Church Branding ebook!
6. Establish your online presence. The internet is now considered another pulpit for churches to share the gospel and, in turn, transform lives. With millions of active users online every day, the potential for impact is unlike any other time in history. That's why I encourage you to go ahead and establish your website and social media platforms if you haven't done so already!
We know that getting started online can seem intimidating. That's why we created our StartSITES Service to make it easy for you to create your website! In just one hour, you can have a fully-functional site to receive tithes and offerings, post online services and so much more. With our StartSITES Creative Service, we take it a step further and provide you with a website specialist to create your website for you. To learn more, call us at 888-979-2524.
Reverend Christine Bové works on StartCHURCH's digital products team. Every day, Christine serves to create products to better the lives of pastors and ministry leaders. She also serves as a StartSITES creative specialist and serves on the tech support team. She is passionate about curating experiences to help pastors and ministry leaders, equipping them to serve their best and make their dreams come true.
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