Don’t Sweat the Logo; Work on the Brand

After yesterday’s post, today the controversy level has been reduced to yellow.

And yet it’s still awfully awkward to talk about churches—especially churches focused on gospel neighboring—working on their brand.


How about some definitions?

But brands aren’t what we usually think they are. Most people think brands and logos are synonymous. They are not.

“A brand is a person’s gut feeling about a product, service, or organization.” – Marty Neumeier, The Brand Gap

Many churches recognize the need to instill a certain feeling about their church in the wider community. Unfortunately, many churches seem to be taking the smoke-and-mirrors approach—-sometimes literally—-to creating impressions. The logo, the lights, the skinny jeans. Or the steeple, the pipes, the robes.

This approach to producing an impression in the community is the equivalent of having the perfect wedding without working hard on your marriage.

From surface to gut

We can’t ignore the fact that logos, steeples, robes and jeans will leave their impressions. And you can’t be unintentional about what you’re trying to communicate through such superficialities. The visual and tactile experience is important.

But we must be willing to do the hard work of getting beyond the surface impressions and see if we can communicate to people’s guts. About the church as the community of Jesus. About the gospel as the greatest story ever told. About our made-in-the-image-of-God neighbors and their tangible needs as a huge part of our mission.

Wouldn’t it be something if the proliferation of gospel-neighboring communities changed the public’s gut feeling about “the Church” in the next half-century? To do this, we’re going to have to stop sweating the logo, and work hard on the brand.

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