Church Branding: Communicating Your Message
An Interview with Cody Bridenbaugh, Founder of Made By Harvest
Church branding is somewhat of a new idea. Most people tend to think of branding as a “stuffy, corporate”
thing says our guest Cody Bridenbaugh, founder of Made By Harvest.
Cody offers a different perspective. While many people may get the wrong idea about what branding is, Cody says that it’s simply helping to bring continuity to your message and how people perceive and understand your church.
Cody links a conversation a church member may have with someone about visiting their church, the brochure they may hand out to give them more information and the logos, setting, etc. that person experiences when they get there. If there is a disconnect, people may feel confused, or worse, even deceived.
However, when there is obvious consistency between the message your members give, the look and feel of the brand people associate with your church, and the setting upon first entering, people feel a sense of clarity and comfort. That’s where church branding comes in to play.
The human brain thrives on clarity and simplicity. If we can help people understand the who and why behind your church quickly and easily, they’re more likely to return and connect in meaningful ways.
Cody says that the best way to begin branding for your church is behind a vision. Once you get a vision for who your church is and why people should come, then you can begin to orchestrate everything you do from the sermon to the setup of the common space where people connect to the logo.
We’ve touched on this already, but Cody references it throughout the podcast, and we happen to agree that it’s one of, if not the most important part of communicating what your church is about.
“Put the cookies on the bottom shelf” is the way Cody says it. That simply means make understanding your church and how to get involved as simple as possible. People tend to buy-in to what they can understand easily.
Finally, Cody makes a very keen insight in observing what highly successful brands do to connect with people. He uses the example of how Nike puts their apparel on athletes who their customers aspire to emulate. While the church isn’t selling athletic apparel, the principle holds true: people are drawn to that which fulfills their needs and desires.
With this in mind, the church should position their message in a way that helps people to see the benefit in it for them. Volunteering and giving will follow later, but you must first show people how it will benefit them.