Branding for Non-Profits Anchorage AK
What Are The Basics Of Branding?
"I am in the process of trying to explain to the upper management of my non profit (pastors) that branding runs much deeper then the brochure, business cards, and stationary. Branding is composed of the entire experience of the end user (people who attend our church).
Do you have any resources laying out the different components of branding? (customer service, first experience, follow up, perceived content value). The leaders are not taking my word for it, they think I am throwing out my opinion. I just need some hard evidence or facts or reports to point to."
Kristen, thanks for asking. A brand is the source of a promise to its customers. It promises relevant differentiated benefits and then it must deliver on those benefits. So, branding starts with brand identity (name, logo, tagline, colors, etc.) and marketing messages, but it is reinforced over time by the total brand experience that is actually delivered at each point of customer contact. The brand is the sum total of each customer's brand experiences as they are encoded in that customer's mind. Brands can offer a wide variety of benefits ranging from fully functional benefits to emotional, experiential and self-expressive benefits. My guess is that churches mostly deliver on the last three types of benefits. And by definition, brands are positioned against other brands, so your church is competing against other local churches within and perhaps outside of its denomination and perhaps even with nationally televised/broadcasted churches and individual spiritual practices.
On any given Sunday morning, it also might be competing against an extra hour or two of sleep, an early round of golf, a leisurely cup of coffee and reading of the newspaper or even a hike in the woods. I would recommend the book "The Varieties Of Religious Experience: A Study In Human Nature" by William James as a starting point for understanding the types of benefits that churches could deliver to their parishioners. Churches are likely to be more or less unique in delivering any or all of the following:
Support through difficult times
Physical, mental and spiritual healing
Encouragement to be a good person
A space for silence
Camaraderie with people of like values
An hour or two of beauty (stained glass windows, music, etc.)
A feeling of closeness to God
Reinforcement that "I am a good person"
Fear of hell
Fear of stepping outside of their denomination's "box"
The sense of fulfilling an obligation
The feeling of belonging
Self-improvement - challenging me to ...