What is a brand guide?
A brand guide is your team’s handbook and reference for all written communications, photos, branding, and social media. The brand guide sets the standard for how your church is represented both internally and externally.
Why it is important to be “on brand”
A brand begins internally. Having an updated branding guide available to all staff and board members helps build your church’s brand and vision from the inside out. External communications are an overflow of an organization’s internal communication’s—the emails, powerpoints, meeting agendas, etc. that you share among your team daily. Having a consistent and standardized look and feel in your everyday communications is the basis of a strong brand. The brand begins with you!
You get to create the identity, look and feel of your church.
People are drawn to churches that have a clear, unified vision and aesthetic. It helps people to feel safe and welcome in your church’s space when they know that they can expect the atmosphere to be consistent. This begins with the way you communicate as a church staff. While there are some things you may not all agree upon internally, you can identify aspects that are the core to your church’s identity and calling. You can then choose ways to communicate these core values through your church’s written communications, photos, branding, and social media.
What should be included in a brand guide?
There should be clear sections that indicate the proper fonts, color swatches (ie - our orange color code is #FFA500), photo requirements, logo usage and merchandise vendors, and any language “do’s and don’ts”. Once you establish your brand guide, you can use it to create a branding toolkit available to all employees. This toolkit can include resources like a branded slide deck, memo templates, and social media guidelines.
Why brand guides are important in nonprofit setting…
One of the main factors that contributes to a successful company is brand recognition. People see a logo or ad and can immediately recognize what sets apart the product or service from other competitors. While churches do not measure success based on profit or outputs in the same way, brand recognition is still essential. While churches do not measure profit or output, they do measure their “reach.” Having a strong brand will help those who are seeking a new church home to remember what they have heard about you. For your church, a strong brand serves the same function as steeples used to (before the internet and highway billboards). It draws people in and helps them know they have found their spiritual home.