Fast Company magazine recently reported that leaders from the city of Oslo, Norway discovered they were spending $5 million a year because so many divisions and departments of city government had their own logo and brand. As Fast Company put it:
“When the city of Oslo audited its books recently, it found something unsettling. With 50,000 government employees working in over 200 organizations, it was paying 40 million kroner a year—or about $5 million—for agencies to spend on new logos and updated brand guidelines. That’s because every organization within Oslo had its own identity, and some had a few; the official count of bespoke logos exceeded 250 in all.”
Years ago I worked with a large church that literally had 60 different logos and brands throughout the organization. Everyone had a logo – the missions outreach, the youth ministry, the sports ministry, the seniors – even the parking team had their own logo. Not only was it costing a lot of money (keep in mind that each of those departments was billing the church to design and update those new logos, and some were having brand guidelines created like Oslo was doing) but even worse – it was creating enormous confusion throughout the community about the church’s actual perception.
So the first thing I did as a creative consultant was to unify all those departments around a single church brand. Sure they could each have a variation, but at least they all had a unified look and style that was immediately recognizable as being part of that particular church. As a result, the recognizability of the church skyrocketed in the surrounding community.
Think about it in your own church or ministry. Do you have a unified look and style that people recognize is from your particular church or ministry? If not, then I strongly recommend you re-think your overall brand and perception.
In a cluttered world, perception matters, as the city of Oslo discovered:
“Money savings was only one part of the project’s appeal—and that the update was a necessary public service. The city was also aware, through polling, that citizens were confused by the multitudes of brands, unsure of where the government ended and private and nonprofit sectors began. “It was very difficult to understand what the city does: ‘How is my tax money spent?’” says Aurtande. In other words, the rebrand doesn’t just save the city of Oslo money. It proves the government’s value to its citizens, too.”
How can you improve your church or ministry’s value by changing it’s perception with the public?