What Difference Does Branding Make?

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There's an interesting divide on the importance of branding and it's largely a difference in generational perspective. We're diving into the question of "what difference does good branding make for your church?" When we talk about the "power of branding" and "great brands", is it real and does it really matter?

I'm not going to answer that... but I will let the people that surround you to answer the question.

Younger audiences know branding. They've grown up as the brand conscious generation. It's important that non-millennials not judge this as a superficial quality. Instead older generations should accept and respect the importance millennials place on branding. For millennials, they seek groups that can be important to the worth of their lives. They associate with organizations that are compelling and laser focused on their mission and mission impact. Their association with various brands is a part of their physical and digital personalities. It's only natural for them to expect their church to embody strong branding. It matters deeply to them... it's in their generational wiring.

Branding should make a compelling and creative first impression in the eyes of millennials. It should move them, engage them, and it should be nothing short of really good. Interestingly, you'll likely find older generations overlook the quality and relevance of their brand simply because they don't see branding in the same way or at the same level of importance. Millennials have a very intense focus and understanding on brands and branding while older generations simply may not have it on their radar. It truly is a generational thing at work. I'm a forty something and I can admittedly sense the generational gap and differences between my wiring and millennials. It's quite natural and even involuntary for millennials to judge your brand for its story, its creativity, its mission focus, and even its quality. We all should embrace millennials intense view of branding and their natural instinct to quickly judge brands. 

For millennials, they see every church as having a profound mission. With that, they expect every church to communicate their mission with extraordinary clarity and excellence. "It should be great because it's your story... it's your brand." That's just how they see it. And as a result they migrate towards the organizations that have a firm grasp on brand clarity and brand excellence.

As I write this, I know there are readers who may not agree with the importance of branding done well or they are on the fence with the matter. And, I understand the skepticism that's out there. But, you can count on the millennial belief in branding to continue to grow, stronger than ever. Most every church we talk with would love to see greater connection with millennials, goes without saying. So then you must ask how does our brand align with the expectations of millennials. If you are on target, kudos to your commitment to building a strong brand. If your brand is not there, there's likely disconnect with younger audiences and it's time to get to work!

Brian Jones