As discussed in the Arithmetics of Branding, Part 1 and Part 2, your brand is widely shaped by the community’s opinion of you. While you can’t control how you are perceived, you can implement these five best practices to encourage positive brand awareness and perception:
1. Figure out, “What is so great about you?” What makes you unique? What does your church do really well?
To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds. – Jakob Neilsen’s Alertbox
Assess what makes your ministries and outreach stand out. Then, decide if that is clearly communicated by polling your congregation and community. Listening to their response can reveal the strengths and weaknesses in your core brand messaging.
2. Once you’ve identified “What is great,” it is time to flaunt it. This isn’t a pride thing. It’s a communication thing. Check these branding mediums to see if your message is consistent.
- Website - As the central hub of your outreach and marketing strategy, the website should be able to effectively express who you are through graphics, text and multimedia.
- Print Collateral - Line up all of your print pieces. From business cards to letterhead and bulletin to event promotion, a certain look and feel should tie them all together.
- Social Media –Review your social media to check for consistent content updates and ongoing community interaction.
3. Once you are flaunting it, identify your brand evangelists.
According to PR Newswire, word of mouth is the #1 influence to purchase decisions in the consumer world.
- Outreach Recipients – Whether it is a food drive or support for new moms, when you really touch people’s lives, you have given them something worth talking about.
- Inspired Members – Some folks in your organization love what you do and would love to be more involved. Here are three questions you can ask your members to help identify potential brand ambassadors:
What gets you most excited about our organization?
What’s one thing you can see yourself improving about the organization?
When telling others about the organization, how do you describe it?
4. Create new brand evangelists who want to help you spread the word.
- Inspire and motivate your visitors and members – Excite your visitors and members by allowing them to use their unique gifts in a way that makes a difference. Remember to let go of control and allow even more members to take ownership over different aspects in the ministry.
- Attract community leaders - When you get involved in community outreach that truly helps people, important leaders will take notice of that and talk about you.
5. Look for new channels. Always be watchful for new outreach and ministry opportunities. Continually assess where members and community gather in-person and online, and be there!
With 80% of churches declining and 2% of Americans inviting a guest to church any given year, we have to make the most of every encounter and interaction with those far from God. To learn more about marketing check out our free eBook, Church Marketing Ideas.
This is a sponsored post from faithHighway, one of my ministry partners on TonyMorganLive.com