Essentially, the article argues that branding as an insurance policy for major corporations to keep the profits rolling in is dead. Basically companies would built up a brand (like Tide) in the mind of consumers. Even in an economic downturn, that brand would pay dividends as customers keep buying Tide thanks to their brand loyalty. But now that brand loyalty seems to be disappearing.
What does it mean for the future of branding and the church?
What the article doesn’t talk about is that branding is still important for businesses and organizations. Frankly, it’s not likely that branding will become insignificant any time soon. The fact remains that companies need a cohesive image to present to the public. What the article does teach us is that companies can no longer rely on the brands they’ve built to save them. Which makes sense. Good will and customer loyalty will only get you so far, especially if you ever fail to deliver.
Branding can still be incredibly important for churches as a way to build a cohesive image and connect with their community. We’re talking about basic things, like a strong logo and visual identity that’s consistently used. A slogan and a consistent message that comes across in all church communications, from the Sunday morning announcements, to the bulletin, to the sign out front is a major component of branding.
Chris Busch has some great thoughts about the power of branding being in the experience a visitor has at your church.
Branding is not, however, going to save the sinking marketing ship for any church. As with most marketing, there is no single bullet, not even a strong brand.