In marketing, most companies come up with a “brand”: a theme that will make their company name recognizable. McDonald’s, for example, has grown their brand so much that the golden arches are known by nearly everyone in the world, and I’m almost certain that you’ve had their “I’m lovin’ it” slogan stuck in your head at least once in your life.
While it’s potentially dangerous to identify your church as a business (although we are in the business of making disciples!), branding your ministry offers some real benefits.
Branding is key when expanding your church. If your church’s brand is clear, even non-members should be aware of your church’s presence online and in print. Think of it this way: the goal of branding is to have people recognize that your church is sending the message without your message screaming, “THIS AD IS FROM ST. JOHN’S CHURCH.” Everything—from the font to the colors to the tone of voice—should be consistent and recognizable.
So how do you go about branding your ministry? Here are a few key steps to create your brand:
Create a color/font scheme
This step is perhaps the most important in your branding beginnings: you must identify a color scheme and a font scheme.
A color scheme is a collection of colors that can be used across your website, bulletin, marketing promotions, and social media. Typically, color schemes have one pop of color (an eye-catching green or a bold blue, for example) in addition to a range of milder colors, such as black, white, or shades of gray. When deciding what your main color will be, take into consideration what that color says about your church; red usually invokes feelings of passion, while blue is calm, and yellow is joyful.
As far as fonts go, it’s a good idea to have two easily accessible fonts. Choose a bold font for your header, and select an easy-to-read font for all your other text. A wide array of fonts are available for download (check out TheHungryJPEG or Google Fonts), but make sure your fonts are properly installed in your website so they appear correctly and beautifully on all computers!
Create a logo
This doesn’t have to be a logo in the traditional sense (like Starbucks mermaid); your church’s logo can simply be your church’s name presented in a visually pleasing way. You might decide to include a small image in your logo that fits with your church’s mission, and you certainly should as least play around with the colors within your chosen color scheme. Whatever you decide, make sure it compliments the colors and the fonts in your color/font schemes.
Implement your brand consistently across all platformsIf you want your church’s brand to stick and really become noticeable, you have to make sure it’s utilized across all platforms—website, advertising, social media, emails, etc.
It might be helpful to develop a style sheet—a detailed list of the fonts, sizes, colors (including hex codes, which are six-digit numbers that identify colors, so you don’t tell someone “emerald green” and end up with an olive green advertisement). Having a style sheet will ensure everyone is on the same page, and it’s easier to delegate tasks when everything is explicitly written out.
If you have multiple people regularly working on your website, social media, and promotions, you should also consider a style sheet for the text that’s being produced. This style sheet would ensure that capitalizations are consistent, words are spelled correctly, and references to parts of the building are always the same (that way one person doesn’t refer to your main activity center as the “fellowship hall” while another refers to it as the “gymnasium”).
After the initial planning, your branding plan should actually make your job easier. Everything will be cohesive and consistent, and your church name will be recognized!
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