“A strong brand is built around your mission — taking into account everything from first impressions to potential social impact and how the community feels about your organization.”
-Kendra Shaw with MissionBox Global Network
Taking time to periodically assess how you are managing your brand - how people perceive your church or nonprofit - is an exercise you should work into your calendar annually. As you plan for ministry, fundraising and serving your community these four steps will help people connect with your organization and keep coming back.
Stand out from the crowd. What makes you unique? Play to your strengths and use those as your core activities, marketing or advertising angles, and communicating your values. A couple of ways you may be different from similar organization are your methods and your goals. How do you do things that is different from the next church? Communicate your specific goals clearly and frequently.
Personalize your brand. Think through your target audience: age, socio-economic status or challenges, education levels, available industry in the area, anything that makes you unique. Factor in the experience and style of your leadership. Never try to be someone you are not. Be yourself and that authenticity will go a long way.
Be relatable and build trust. Building trust can take years, yet losing it can happen in a moment. Connect with your community at their level, go where they are, speak like they speak, live the way they live. Focus less on being who you think you should be and make sure you are who you say you are.
Be appealing. Listen to your community, understand their needs and wants. Stay aligned with your mission, vision and values, but be flexible in your methodology. Would you contribute to your cause? Would you show up at your church every Sunday? Step back and evaluate your appeal.
Here are a few extra resources to help you develop your brand strategy.
The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey
Wired to Resist by Britt Andreatta