Using the Power of Architecture to Tell Your Story


In a world where so many churches are drab buildings, or where leaders could care less about building design, I was reminded about the power of architecture after my wife Kathleen noticed Grace Community Church in New Caanan, Connecticut. Their design is really remarkable, and its been covered in major media outlets across the country, allowing them a remarkable way to share their story. In my book “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media,” I have a section called “The Branded Building.” Here’s how I put it:

Should I Be Careful with “Branding Experts?”


When I wrote my book “Branding Faith” in 2008, the word “branding” had hardly been uttered inside a church or other Christian organization. In fact, the amount of criticism I endured just trying to start the conversation was enormous. People just didn’t want to believe the power of perception or identity and the role it played in getting people to listen to your message, buy your product, or donate to your cause.  But since that time, things have changed, and

Stop Trying to Be Original and Start Being Yourself


I love creativity and think we should all be more creative. Some people think they simply aren’t creative, but the truth is, we’re all born with wonderful imaginations. Just put a group of toddlers in a room and you’ll see they’re all wildly creative. So everyone is born creative.  But something happens around elementary school that starts pushing that creativity to the back of the room.  But the more important question for today is, considering the millions of writers, artists, inventors, and filmmakers that have gone before us, can we actually be

Everybody Has an Agenda: You Need One Too


When Christians get critical about Hollywood, the gay community, environmentalists, or others, we always bring out the “agenda” card. “Beware the gay agenda.” “Hollywood has a secret agenda.” “This global warming agenda.”  I actually saw a comment on my blog recently warning me that “Hollywood’s agenda is to sell tickets.”  Duh. What a surprise. Here’s the truth:

A Checklist for Building Your Platform in 2013

to do list

During this transition time into 2013, you have a great time to slow down and re-think what you’re doing to share your message and ideas with the world. If you’re a writer, producer, filmmaker, artist, pastor, business or nonprofit leader, politician, or whatever – take a few minutes right now to think about how you’re connecting with your social media followers, donors, general public, and customers. Here’s a few good places to start:

Is Convenience Ruining The Church?


In my upcoming book, “Unique: Telling Your Story in The Age of Brands and Social Media,” I tell the story of a pastor who never preaches for more than 12-15 minutes because he feels that’s all he can demand of his audience. Today, many churches across the country are slaves to the clock, and wouldn’t think of pushing a service past the hour mark. Last week I was in Nevada shooting some television segments with Pastor Benny Perez from The Church at South Las Vegas. We started talking about the “convenience” culture that’s

Jerusalem’s Arab Market and the Power of “Unique”

Phil in Market

I’ve written a great deal about the branding principle of simply being unique. In fact, I believe it so much that my new book coming out this winter is called, “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media.” In my current book, “One Big Thing” I tell the story of my visit to the Portobello Street Market in London and meeting a charming woman I called “The Bread Plate Lady.” She personified the importance of owning a unique niche. Today, Kathleen and I spent the day at the Arab Market in Jerusalem, and discovered the

The Bread Plate Lady and the Power of Your “One Big Thing”


Kathleen and I spent the weekend in London, returning from a documentary film project in Eastern Europe.  If we’re in London on a weekend, we always head out to Notting Hill for the Portobello Road street market.  It’s an incredible experience, and even in the dead of winter, it was packed with shoppers looking over the antiques, jewelry, rare books, clothes and other stuff.  Most of the stalls sold a variety of items, but toward the end of the day, we came upon a little old lady in one of the smallest stalls who sold only two things: