“How do you train and maintain branding standards once they are established?”
This was an issue I dealt with when I was the communication director at a church with several departments.
Below, I will give you three tips to help you train and maintain your branding standards.
- Establish a brand guide document. Put everything in one place and get approval from the top leadership.
- Educate the brand standards to the church staff. Explain why a brand standard is important from a ministry perspective.
- Be the brand champion. Your role is to be aware of what graphics, images, and other advertisements are produced at the church and take steps to create alignment.
As the Communication Director, I worked closely with the pastor and core leadership of the church to ensure I could help communicate appropriately to the church and the city. I think being close to church leadership is an essential part of the job, so a brand standard can be maintained.
I have learned that leadership has to understand the importance of a brand and be willing to help champion it.
My pastor’s primary role is to minister the gospel. My role was to help him communicate the vision well through visual promotions such as ads, videos, social media, and the website. I did this by establishing standards for the church to create a brand.
I learned as much as I could about branding and marketing to add value to my pastor from this perspective.
It would be best if you built trust over time by present solutions from a marketing perspective to your leadership.
Apply what you have learned so you can see results.
When I learned about the importance of a brand guide toward building trust in our ministry, I created one for our church. I then asked to present it to the church staff in an all-staff meeting where I explained why building a brand was important to the ministry everyone was a part of. Then I passed out the pastoral leadership endorsed guide to everyone in the room.
In my case, I played the long game, which took a year to implement a brand standard for the church. Through several presentations to educate the church staff, by providing a brand guide and executing consistent designs, people could see the positive change. They liked the results and embraced the idea of being part of maintaining a brand standard.
I had to champion the brand standard after the first year continually, but it was easier as more time passed. Here are some actions I took to encourage the brand standard:
- I went around to staff computers and installed the brand fonts; there were 2 of them.
- I defined the five brand colors for our church and provided the RBG, CMYK, Hex code, and Pantone values.
- There was a style guide for the logo to define how it needed to be used.
- I sent the proper logo files to all the staff as a JPG, PNG, and EPS file type.
- There was a style guide for the type of graphic treatment our promotions would have.
- A photography guide was created so we could get the right images for our promotions.
- We built a new website with the brand standards implemented throughout.
- I updated all signs in the facility and on the property.
- I created new graphics for the facility to present our values and our visual brand.
My big take-away from experience as a communication director was to step into that role fully becoming an expert in branding. This earned me clout and benefitted the ministry of the church as it built trust in the community.
When I worked as part of a church plant for a period of time, I established the brand standard because I was the only designer. Everything came through me, so I was the filter. I still created a brand guide to install fonts, colors, and design styles for the church. I also created templates to help me work in a consistent direction for things I created repeatedly.
As a brand champion, you have to think systematically about the church brand. You have to realize that your work will never be done to help the organization maintain the standard. Continue to champion the process by presenting why it is important to the ministry of the church.
Create templates, standards, and repeatable ways of doing things. These habits will establish a strong brand identity, which will help you be more effective in your marketing.
Avoid the temptation to start from scratch each time. This is a trap that many creatives fall into. Good branding is done systematically to move the whole organization forward.
Building a brand is a process. Keep up the good work!
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