Ministry Branding – Part 1 – An Introduction
Reliant Creative is a creative agency, but what does that mean? At the most basic level, we are a team of people that create things, but that’s not a compelling story. If that’s how we communicated what we do, we would rarely get found among the sea of competition. A great brand must be built on more than what you do. Additionally, a brand is far more than what your organization looks like visually. Shapes, a logo, some color, and type are not the core pieces strong brands are built on. The strongest brands are built around a compelling story and ultimately emotion. A compelling story is incredibly important, because as humans, we are affected emotionally by stories. As Christians we know this truth intimately. God chose to speak to us through scripture, and what is scripture but a selection of stories. Over the next few weeks I’m going to share our brand development process, and show you why it’s so important to take your ministry branding through a similar process.
Christian Creative Agency – Our Process
This post is designed to introduce a series. This is Part 1. Instead of going into detail on our process today, I’m simply going to share our process in bulleted form. Over the next few weeks I will address each of these pieces in detail.
- Brand Development
- Positioning, Strategy, and Market Research
- Brand Identity
- Color Palette
- User Experience
- User Interface
- Visual Design
- Content Strategy
As you can see, building a brand for your ministry is much more involved than simply creating a logo with some color and pretty type. Building a brand through this process will help us ensure an effective brand that stands out amidst the sea of competition.
Now, let’s quickly address the word competition. To some, that word might sound a little too aggressive. As Christian ministries, I understand that we are all on the same team. The end goal of all Christian ministries is the gospel. Or at least the end goal should be the gospel. But, as ministries we need to put ourselves in our target audience’s shoes. Why would I give to your ministry over another ministry offering the same service, in the same city? Do I even know you exist? Is it easy to determine if your vision aligns with the gospel? Once I give, how do I know my investment went directly towards gospel work? Are you telling that story simply and effectively? These are all questions that if we can answer quickly and efficiently for our target audience, we will serve them better, and allow them to serve us better. Ultimately, it’s not about competition, it’s about standing out and communicating well to our target audience; essentially running our organizations as successful businesses. In order to stand out, effective businesses compete for a place in the market where they can tell their story. This is why we must find our ministry’s differentiators.
Christian Creative Agency – Our Differentiator
The story or emotion your brand is built on will help determine your differentiators. In today’s market you must differentiate, or your organization will slowly die. It’s sounds gloomy, but that’s the truth. I’m going to use Reliant as an example throughout this series. As I stated before, we are a creative agency. We literally have tens of thousands of competitors across the nation. In order to be successful, our services must be directed towards a specific targeted audience. The days when your differentiator could be your location, at least in smaller markets, is over thanks to the internet. It’s not a bad thing, it just means we must adapt. If I’m looking for creative services and I live in Sacramento, CA., I can hop online and hire a designer in Austin, TX. within minutes. So, why would I choose Reliant Creative over every other creative agency and design firm? In steps our differentiators. We are a Christian creative agency, and we only work with gospel-centered ministries and churches. “We are the creative agency for ministries.” Now I’ve narrowed my competition significantly. I’m no longer competing with every single creative agency in the country, or my own city for that matter. Now I can more effectively focus on serving the clients that need our services, and in turn I will produce a final product that better fits my targeted audience because I more deeply understand their needs.