11 Ways to Improve Your Church’s Brand


Here’s a quick punch list of ideas to evaluate and improve your church or organization’s brand.

 

1. Analyze your audience.

  • Who is target demographic?
  • What do numbers show is your current reality?
  • What is your aspiration?

2. Collect website traffic data.

  • Pore over Google analytics. What are most common pages and clicks, types of content used, routes, destinations?
  • What are missing opportunities?

3. Collect visitor and new member data.

  • Same for new members. What are averages, high and low points, retention rates. The object is to look for trends.
  • Why do people stay?
  • Why do they leave?

4. Conduct a congregational survey.

  • What are best things about church? Worst?
  • What do people think about the church?
  • What are signature ministries?
  • What are ministries in need of development?

5. Study the campus.

  • If you were coming on campus for the first time, what makes the biggest impression, and why?
  • Where is the brand from the exterior view? Is it obvious enough? Where can it be improved?
  • What are existing channels for campus messaging? Missing any?
  • Any presence of core values and stories that reflect brand visible on campus?

6. Clarify your denominational relationship.

  • If your church is in a denomination, you have two (often competing) brands – the local church and the denomination. You need the local church brand to be more dominant, but from an audience awareness view, the denomination is probably more dominant.
  • Decide what to do about this – build both? Lose the denomination? Marry the values?
  • To members who love the denominational brand, conduct a survey: why?
  • If you stick with the denominational brand, (re)define what it means in your context. This requires extensive storytelling.

7. Learn the your founders’ story.

  • What did you do in the beginning?
  • What were the big struggles and victories?
  • Look for ways these stories can build the brand.

8. Explore the why.

  • What’s the why for the church?
  • Why do your leaders do what they do in ministry?
  • What is your source of un-peace?
  • Differentiate purpose statement versus marketing statement.

9. Define “success”.

  • Large church staffs have a lot of assumptions about the Whys- a lot of different understandings about what it means to do church. Don’t allow assumptions, but clearly state what “success” looks like to create a clear sense of purpose.
  • Ask, what does an image of a disciple look like at this church?
  • Within specific ministry areas? Point to specific people and articulate why they’re an image of discipleship at your church.

10. Dig into Values.

  • Are existing values ever used in decision-making? If not, they’re not good enough. Values should drive strategy.
  • Do exec and/or staff exercises to deepen understanding of group values. I write more about values here.

11. Create a set of deliverables to increase clarity.

  • Share your research results with staff and lay leadership.
  • Tell core stories to the staff and to the congregation.
  • Development brand guidebook.
  • Tweak vision and values statements to reflect this research.
About the Author

Len Wilson

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Christ follower. Storyteller. Strategist. Writer. Creative Director at St Andrew. Tickle monster. Author, Think Like a Five Year Old (Abingdon).