“Branding” is a bit of a buzz word right now out there in ministry and within church leadership. Over the past couple of years ministry leaders have started to realize that they need a brand for their local church or ministry. This is a good thing! I remember a time when churches just thought doing a couple different things for their marketing or just having a website out there was good enough. “It covered the base” so to speak and that was enough. It’s refreshing to now see pastors and ministry leaders knowing they need to go deeper and do more than just cover a base. Church website branding matters!
Through the hundreds of conversations I have had about branding with pastors, what I have most commonly heard when I bring up the topic of branding is “we have a logo or a color pallet we have used on print, signage and so on…”. Well, I am here to tell you branding is much more than that! You kinda probably know it is more than that too. More specifically, “church website branding” is a much bigger deal than most think too. Yes, a logo and specific colors that are identified with your church are a part of your brand but it goes much deeper than that.
The marketing experts and research companies out there for the secular arena and for the church market will tell you that building your brand or communicating it effectively encompasses quite a bit. Your brand is not only your identity, but how you want to be perceived, what others say about you, what you say about yourself or your own organization. It tells your story, how people are benefited by what you offer, and more. One of my favorite aspects of a brand for a burger chain called Mighty Fine is that when you go to the counter to order your burger and you say “how are you?” or “how is it going?”, the employee at the counter will always say “I’m doin mighty fine”. It’s kinda cheesy but it is a nice memorable greeting. The employees also say it in an authentic way and sound like they mean it too. On the other hand, one of my least favorite aspects of a brand that is shared by employees within a company is at the drug store CVS. Every time you finish your purchase at the counter and you are on your way out they will say”be well”. It makes my ears hurt and makes me cringe and is just plain annoying to me. First, because I do not like the saying but also because if you are like me when you stop at those places it is probably to just fill a prescription or to maybe buy something you forgot at the grocery store. You are always in a rush just wanting to get going and the employees always seem to sound like they hate saying it to you also. However, I guess it is memorable so it accomplishes that for marketing.
Why Church Website Branding Matters
So what is my point with all this and why is church website branding such a big deal for you? Your brand is a broad thing but is also measured in the details. Details matter! You need to put thought into all the little things that make your church unique. Most pastors now know that most potential first time guests will end up at their website before they may visit in person (85 to 90% of the time statistically). People will still hear about you through word of mouth of course, from social media or an event, but they always end up on your website to get more info before taking the next step etc. So if your church website is the “main hub” still, then church website branding is critical to engage the people you want to connect with your church!
Church website branding will indeed need to have a quality logo,”the identity piece” of your brand, some great colors, but will need to focus on the other details that make you unique compared to other churches or organizations. What is your story? What do your members say about your church to others that are not yet a part of it? Are they saying anything? You sure hope so don’t you! They obviously need to be responding to the great commission and sharing God’s love but what are you communicating as a leader that will get them excited to invite, tell, and do more for your ministry? These are the things we help pastors draw out here at REACHRIGHT through our consultation and we would love to help you as well if we can.
So, once you know who you are and what you offer that is unique, it needs to be on the main hub “your website”. With great design, thought, strategy,and consultation it will be carried out effectively through not only your logo and graphics but within your content through text, compelling photography, video and more! More to come on this subject but hopefully this helped you realize how church website branding is a bigger deal than you think!
It’s a big subject, for sure. Anything I am leaving out or other thoughts you have?
Also: Some of our favorite conversations on this topic are happening over at The Church Marketing Labs – There you will gather some great insights on all things church branding.