In the process of branding, you create a specific visual identity unique to your church and its ministry. An identity includes all the visual design elements used to market your church. The visual identity includes all graphic elements such as the logo, website, brochures, banners, T-shirts, coffee mugs, pens, and any other visible element. A visual identity is most effective when it pushes the church’s vision along. However, certain criteria are necessary for it to function this way.
Your identity should leave an impression.
The point of the whole branding process is to create a memorable visual identity that lines up with the vision. It is important to use complementary elements that make you stand out from other organizations in your community. You want to be discernible. However, this doesn’t mean you have to be flashy or complicated; rather, your visual identity should be simple and straightforward. This makes it easier to keep everything consistent.
When your branding is complementary, simple, and consistent, it will resonate more with your audience. People will begin to see your logo, for instance, and associate it with your ministry. Steady exposure to your visual identity will eventually make you easily recognizable.
Your identity should go beyond just your logo and become part of your reputation. A logo alone cannot draw people to your church. It is the combination of your visual components and the actions of the church that contributes to your success. When people can associate bold marketing with a solid reputation, you are on the right path.
Your identity should provide a clear image of your ministry.
Authenticity is vital in the world today. People are searching for what is real and must be able to put their trust in you before they can commit and invest. The image you paint of yourself must be consistent with the experience you deliver. Not much room exists for hype; you must be honest in who and what you say you are. Your visual identity can exist as the bridge between what you promise and what you deliver in your actions as a church.
Find out how your fellow ministry leaders and churchgoers would describe your ministry. Make sure the way you are perceived aligns with your vision and your calling. Once you have narrowed this down, you can be sure you are sending the right message.
A survey may be a good option to allow you to ask questions about how you are perceived and who you are truly attracting. This way you can see if your brand has aligned to those who are responding. Adjustments can be made with the feedback to better connect with those who are actually responding to your brand.
Your identity should be versatile.
An effective visual identity should continuously demonstrate flexibility. This positions your ministry for advertising success and allows room for future growth and changes. In order to stay relevant and maintain awareness, your ministry should be able to adapt to a broad range of marketing and communications.
For instance, your logo should be easily modified for various print materials, websites, videos, T-shirts, and more. This means altering the size, ranging from a tiny business card to a banner, or changing from full color to two-color to black and white. A strategically designed logo will be versatile for use in any media.
There is a balance between a consistent visual identity and being flexible. This is where a branding guide will help the church determine what elements are to remain consistent to keep the brand in tact and what elements are able to adjust. For example, a branding guide can determine various versions of a logo for use on social media profile pictures.
To be clear, your visual identity is the part of your overall brand which is graphical. The posters, logos, t-shirts, screens, website and other forms of visuals need to be consistent with the way your church acts. Together, the visuals and the way you act out your vision creates the church’s brand. When these are in sync, the impact it has is memorable to your audience.