Since I wrote my book “Branding Faith” a number of years ago and then updated it to “Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media” to address how branding applies to religious and nonprofit organizations, I’ve been amazed at the number of branding companies that have popped up specifically to work with churches. Many of these companies are very good and doing excellent work. But I’m also finding that for many, “branding” has become a religion. I got a call from a major Christian ministry the other day who said, “We’ve just spent $400,000 on a branding study, have a 250 page branding manual, and have no idea what to do with it.”
That’s so wrong on so many levels. Branding should be a tool that helps you share you story more effectively. It influences your perception and helps cut through the clutter of multiple messages to tell your story. What it shouldn’t become is a one size fits all solution. Plus, no branding study, brand statement, or logo design will overcome bad preaching at a church, or poor performance at a nonprofit.
Your story is bound up the unique quality of your content, your DNA, and the confidence that comes from acting in your strengths.
A great branding study will help you discover your strengths, your unique story, an help you express it well. But if your organization is dysfunctional or if the leadership is failing, spending money to enhance your brand is only putting a new coat of paint on a car with no engine.