In a Dressing Room, Thinking about…Branding

Bob FranquizChurch

So I’m in the dressing room of Express (For Men), and I started to think about branding.  Why?  Because as I was trying on a sports coat for a wedding that I’m officiating next week (And my old one is huge on me since I’ve shed an extra human’s worth of weight), that I started noticing the buttons on the jacket.  As I looked at the sides, they said, "Express" all the way around.  I looked at the shirt I was trying on, and the same was true on those buttons as well.  So it got me thinking, "How are we branding our church?"  Most of us have our mission statement, values, purposes, etc…, but is what we are trying to get across able to be communicated on the side of a button.  Think about it, if I bought that jacket (Which I didn’t, way overpriced), every time I put it on, I’d think about Express.  They so believe in their product that they want me to remember them every time I put that shirt on.  So I started thinking about a couple of basic things for us in church world to consider: 

#1 – Consider your Logo – Is it simple?  Is it recognizable?  Could the people in your church draw it?  I can’t draw stick men correctly, but I could draw you the logo for Nike or Apple.  It’s simple and each are transferable on to just about any format.

#2 – Is your logo on everything?  We decided that everything we produce – a bulletin, brochure, flyer, poster, pen, mouse pad, notebook, business card, sign, or name tag would have our logo.  I know this sounds basic, but I’m amazed how many church related items I see that don’t brand the church on it.  Or the church has 6 different logos, fonts, colors, and designs they use.  Pick one and go with it!   

#3 – Is this item good enough for your logo?  When I see a shirt that has the "Swoosh", I already believe that the shirt is high quality and comfortable.  Why?  Because Nike always delivers on that.  If it has an Apple on it, I already know it’s a great computer (Yes, my bias is coming out).   One thing we do not allow is for people to put our logo on stuff that we don’t see.  If it has our name or logo on it, it has to pass through our graphic designer’s office.  This might sound strict, but we call it "Quality control."

#4 – Don’t Go "Outlet mall" with your brand – I was at Banana Republic in a huge outlet mall near my house a few weeks ago.  I noticed something about that Banana Republic location: the quality was lower than the normal retail store.  They manufacture clothes just for the outlet mall locations and while it has the same tag, the quality is inferior.  Big mistake!  Is there stuff happening that’s being promoted as part of your church that you haven’t measured the quality of?  I’m not talking micromanaging, I’m talking about an entry point into your church where someone will be able to say, "Yeah I went to an event that ‘Your name here’ put on and it wasn’t very good."  If the button has your stamp on it, make sure it’s excellent!