The Church, The Brand and Perception…Pt. 3
There are some really awesome churches that know how to develop a powerful and authentic brand. These type of innovative churches let people know who they are, why they exist and what they do. One church comes to mind— Lifechurch.tv led by Craig Groeschel in Edmond, OK.
Look at this video that Lifechurch.tv opens with in their weekend services. It’s quite motivating and it reminds their audience of why they are there, why they exist and what they are called to do. Now, that is branding! Like I’ve said before, the Brand = the story or the message that surrounds your organization…it goes way beyond than just logos.
You are right, branding does go way beyond logos. Marketing is telling your story. We have all heard people tell a story right? Some people are good story tellers…others not so much. The good story tellers practice and refine their story telling skills. Churches need to do the same. The better we get at all aspects of telling the story of Jesus and the role we play in that, the better off churches will be…and ultimately people’s lives will be changed.
Are you kidding me? We need to get better at telling the story of Jesus? The story has lasted 2000 years without the help of branding or any other marketing techniques. The church needs to stop trying to come up with new ways of marketing church and just be the goddamn Church! Be a community who is there to help each other, encourage each other, struggle with each other. That doesn’t happen in most well-marketed churches. Learn how to be what they tell you to be happens in well-marketed churches.
I’m glad you have something you’re passionate to write about…So it’s good you took the time to blog about this. I’d like to make one suggestion in response to David’s quote:
“Marketing is telling your story.”
I think the church has learned to be persuasive in telling its various stories over the years…there are just so many different versions of that story.
I think it’s time not to learn how to better tell a story. It’s time to re-examine our own perspectives of the story. Perhaps bad marketing is not the reason some brands are not appealing. Some brands, such as the story the church claims to adhere to, just don’t live up to unrealistic expectations….
And to quote David again:
“…Ultimately people’s lives will be changed….”
Changed to what? What are we really asking of people when we get them to commit to our brand? Get them to say a magic prayer and we can count them as loyal to our brand? Get poster people to become church members so we can attract more poster people between the ages of 18 and 25 who consume large amounts of designer jeans and ironic t-shirts and bed-head hair gels and U2 albums and attend Hillsong camps?
Are we asking them to adopt a culture? We say no. But our current story, no matter how well we market it, gives conflicting messages.
Thanks for listening, and thanks for writing, David (both of you). I think you’ve touched on a big topic that needs discussion in both directions.
I think the video from life church is awesome. It reinforces some key points every week, and we need to be “put in rememberence” of certain things!
The only thing that “church” marketing has to take into account is that you can advertise and market all you want, but if the product isn’t what you marketed, then there it doesn’t matter. The lives of those who follow Christ must embody the message.
I do like the video though because it reinforces the calling of believers.