Fun Fact: Your logo is not your brand. Your logo is just an artistic representation of your brand
Think about it. Apple is not Apple because of the cool logo, right? They have built a reputation for high-quality computers, amazing customer service, dedication to the user experience and giving customers solutions that fit their lifestyle in ways that they may never have imagined. When you see that white outline of an Apple your mind immediately floods with all of the experiences and feelings you have related to Apple.
If the logo is not the brand, then why do so many people think that a “rebrand” means a new logo and website?
Literally… changing your logo is the easiest thing you can do. It requires very little effort and it seems like you have done a lot. New signs, new letterhead, new business cards, a whole new website. Some churches even throw parties to celebrate the change.
Here’s the problem.
When people come to your church the next week the only thing different is the logo. People will still experience the same parking lot, building, worship, preaching, greeters, ushers, etc. They will for sure see the new signs, but it won’t really mean much.
So how do you build a brand? Also simple.
- Focus on the experience that people have when they interact with your church. Think carefully about everything from street to seat and back. Some questions to think about: Is it easy to find your way on campus? Is it easy to check kids in? Is the temperature of the building pleasant? Is the sound level right for the audience? There are dozens of questions you can ask… just choose those that are most important for your community and keep asking them.
- Boil your core mission and vision down to a simple set of words and phrases that keep your whole team focused and clear. A complicated set of statements may work in the committee room, but in practice, it needs to be simple and repeatable.
- Define your target audience and get to know them. Understand the demographics of who you are trying to reach so that you can quickly identify if you are hitting your target. Also, understand the needs and fears, hopes and dreams of your target audience. In doing so you can ensure that you can attract and retain your target audience.
- Be consistent in all of your communication channels. Work hard to produce graphics, content, and video that line up with the brand you are working to create. Every image, word, and video can support your brand or create confusion.
- Evaluate often. Use visitor surveys, secret shoppers or intentional analysis to make sure your efforts at branding are working.
So do you need a new logo? Maybe.
If you are working to redefine your brand, then a new logo can work to support the direction of change. It is a visual reminder that things are changing. But if you do get a new logo, remember that is the easy part. The real work is defining a brand and making it a reality every day.