Build Awareness or Meet the Need

June 22, 2009 by

2009_06_12_Megaphone.jpgI got a call last week from a husband and wife team who are launching a new business going after people who own RVs/trailers. With boomer mobility on the rise, it’s a growing market with tons of potential. The particular product they’re selling will be a huge hit. Unfortunately, the market doesn’t understand what the product is or what problem it solves. Yet.

This is a classic awareness problem. Great product or service. Huge market potential. Major disconnect between the two. So we try and do both. We attempt to build awareness for the product/service and sell it at the same time. Doesn’t work. You’ve got to pick one.

Churches experience this all the time. New church gets started with many new ways of “doing” church. The community is ripe for new ways of doing church. Major disconnect between the “new church” and those that are looking for new ways to do church because they’re having a difficult time finding each other.

Like my friends with the new product, they need to raise awareness for the itch they’re scratching. You can’t tell people they have an itch and scratch it for them at the same time. When you attempt to do both, your credibility and/or ability to do either is stifled.

So build awareness.
Or meet the need(s) of the aware.
You choose.

Post By:

Brad Abare


Brad Abare is the founder of the Center for Church Communication. He consults with companies and organizations, helping them figure out why in the world they exist, why anyone should care and what to do about it. He and his wife Jamaica live in Los Angeles with their daughter, MirĂ³.
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4 Responses to “Build Awareness or Meet the Need”

  • Stephen James
    June 22, 2009

    Less than 8% of the “common man” surveyed by Google know what a web browser is? No wonder it’s difficult to get people to switch from Internet Explorer.
    http://mashable.com/2009/06/19/google-chrome-browser-video/


  • Andy Wittwer
    June 22, 2009

    I’m not entirely sure I agree with this proposal. Strike that – I’m sure that I don’t. Not that both don’t have to happen, it’s just a false dichotomy; these are not mutually exclusive practices. Advertising will raise the awareness that this product will meet a need.
    In relation to the church, I think we have WAY overdone the “awareness” and severely under-delivered on the “product.”


  • jasonFe2O3
    June 23, 2009

    I get the point, but what does this actually look like in the realm of church branding? Is it the awareness of the need or the awareness of the “product” you have to offer?


  • Rick Wilson
    June 24, 2009

    This is right on and really at the core of good marketing thinking. In my days as a radio rep, I would educate clients about the difference between branding (creating awareness) and a call to action (meeting a need). The problem is that most client’s (and certainly most churches) don’t know the difference and want to do it all at once. That NEVER works.
    Branding – creating awareness is a process of time and repetition. When that’s been done – i.e. when the consumer is really aware of the product and how that product meets their need, he/she will respond. Good stuff!



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