This is post #7 in a short series on church branding. In this post we’ll discuss the beginning stage of brand alignment – reacting to problems.
Early on many churches will spend a lot of branding energy simply reacting to problems. In this initial stage you’re putting out fires. You’ll find yourself trying to reign in the volunteer who just set up another twitter account for the church. You’ll constantly be dealing with ministries creating their own logos or websites. And you’ll have a never ending flow of creative requests all demanding your attention.
In this stage you’ll experience a lot of activity rather than processes. You’re busy due to the need to constantly be responding to problems. You’ll also find that your creative or media quality will fluctuate all over the place. Initially there could be a lot of excitement because everything is launching. But be careful! A brand that is out of alignment will cause issues down the road. And if you stay in response mode you’ll burn people out and you’ll put a lid on the brand and the organization.
So what can you do to start bringing alignment to the brand?
- Harness the excitement of activity into momentum for processes and systems. (Address the problem but if it is a systematic issue then look for a long-term process solution. Have a way to start tracking the problems.)
- Use this time to really find out who you are and maybe more importantly who you are not. (Start making lists and keeping examples of the good, bad, and the ugly.)
- Set some clear goals and expectations for your church brand. (Educate people on those goals. Realize people want to do the right thing but we’re still figuring out what that is.)
- Implement continual cycles of improvement throughout your organization. (Take small steps toward alignment each time you have an event, service, ministry outreach, etc.)
Every church will experience seasons where the brand gets out of alignment. These are windows of opportunity. If you church lives here you’ll vastly diminish your synergy. If you’re realizing parts of your church brand are competing then it’s a great time for an alignment.
What are some ways you can tell if your brand is out of alignment?
In the next post we’ll look at how a church can move towards a systematic approach to branding.