10 Church Branding Myths

Steven Fogg —  June 3, 2010 — 4 Comments

I blogged about church marketing myths a month or so ago and have been looking at the church branding area recently. I’ve discovered some disturbing church branding myths which I thought I would share with you.

Myth #1   If your brand is consistent you will become a successful church.

Having a consistent brand is good for recall, may lower some perception barriers about Christian cheesyness. It will help tell your story. But you will not grow because your brand is consistent, or looks brilliant. Your brand simply helps you do ministry. Your brand will not solve your ministry problems either. A clearly articulated, budgeted and implemented mission, vision will help grow your church.

Myth #2   The more you spend on your branding (and marketing) the more successful you will become.

You don’t need a mega budget to have a successful brand. Just be strategic in where you spend your money. There are many great cost effective web platforms that have a budget for most churches. You don’t have to have your printed collateral in glossy full colour. There are many social media platforms that will help you get your message out for free.

Myth #3   New visitors to your church will primarily remember you by your brand.

Your visitors won’t remember you by your brand, but they will remember how friendly you were, how they felt included. If you can get your brand promise (what people feel after they’ve visited your church) to match your branding (what you say they can expect) then you are onto something.

Myth #4   Your Senior Pastor is your brand (And he or she is a branding expert.)

Your church will outlast your current Senior Pastor. You don’t need a picture of them on your web landing page. Really. Sigh.

Myth #5   If it doesn’t have a Christian symbol in your logo, its a sin.

Uh oh. This is a hot potato. Don’t shoot me. You don’t need every part of Christian symbology in your logo. A cross with the dove flying over a flame just sucks. Sorry. You don’t even need a Christian symbol in your logo. Relax. People will get that you are a church.

Myth #6   Everyone has to like the logo. 

Implementing a new church brand is not about being fair. Its about getting the right brand that best represents who you are as a community of faith. Its OK for people to disagree and not like it. Your church brand isn’t there to be nice. It is there to be effective for your ministry. I remember a MinistryCom session led by the wonderfully talented Dawn Nicole Baldwin she said that getting something everyone would like wasn’t branding, but blanding (You should hire her, she is a Yoda jedi knight about this kinda stuff)

Myth #7  Why do we need to spend money on it? (My cousin Dave has a computer thingy and Corel Draw)

Stop. Seriously. I know how to roughly draw plans for a house, but I’m going to get someone who has had training, has talent to get to do it for me. If you invest peanuts in your brand expect to get a big monkey.

Myth #8  Name your brand after a successful mega church. 

This one really gets my goat. I’ve seen it so many times. I’ve blogged about it previously. God created your church to be an original. Your church is a masterpiece of God’s creation. Don’t be a lame carbon copy of someone else’s original thinking.tv

Myth #9  If you don’t extensively talk to key stakeholders before you start or sign off on the project it will all be OK.

The church is one body made up of many parts. You’ve heard that? Talk to people in your church extensively. But don’t stop there. Talk to groups outside of your church about your church. Ask them what they think about you.

Myth #10  Once you’ve implemented your brand you don’t have to spend any more money for at least ten years.

You’ve just spent your money, worked hard to get all the work done. Don’t relax. Don’t sit still. Look around. Ask around. What do people think? Get feedback. Feedback can feel personal but it is well worth getting. Not everyone sees or does things the way you do. You will need to allocate budget to tweak here and there, and have a bit of dough to do a rework occasionally.

What branding myths have you seen?

Drop me a line and spill the beans.

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Steven Fogg

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4 responses to 10 Church Branding Myths

  1. Hey Steve, this is @tijuanabecky on twitter. This is a bad way to respond but twitter won’t let me DM you back so came here to answer it. Check out http://bit.ly/COPlus1 for more on volunteering at LC, we’d love to have you.

  2. It is written Satan has deceived the whole world until the heel of time when a woman shall bruise him by exposing his lies Gen 3:15 check out the bruising of Satan and the true love of God for all at
    http://thegoodtale.blogspot.com
    Read all the posts to see the whole picture, val

  3. Good question! Personally, I’ve been feeling uneasy about a new trend that says, “If I just focus on Jesus, preach good & teach right then God’s will prevails and we will grow as much or little as He wants.”
    I mean, isn’t there a difference between branding a church and branding Jesus?? The church is not Christ, it is the body of Christ in desperate need of effectively communicating it’s purpose to believers & unbelievers alike.
    I am thinking that… believers should know the church is a community where they can be equipped to fulfill God’s perfect will for their life. Unbelievers should know its a community willing to love them as they seek to know God. Very few seem to both communicate AND implement this purpose. What do you think? :-) Thx!

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