How to create an online brand identity

Creating an Online Brand Identity for your Church

You are unique, your ministry is unique and your calling is unique. But in this noisy, overcrowded online space how do you showcase your uniqueness? Creating your online brand identity is one of the ways you can do that. It is the first step in the process of effectively communicating the uniqueness of your ministry to your audience.

What is a Brand Identity?

Apple, Google, CocaCola, Microsoft, Amazon – Even if someone woke you up in the middle of the night and asked you what products these companies sell and what industry they represent, there is a good chance that you will answer them correctly. No matter where you are in the world, you have heard of these names and seen their logo in some context. That is branding

Branding is the art of occupying the mind space of people, using a unique identifier. A brand can be a name, symbol, sound, design, reputation, speciality, and more. A brand is something that differentiates you, and sets you apart from others. It is who you are, your identity and your uniqueness in some form.

How to create an online brand identity

Creating your Ministry’s Online Brand Identity: 3 Essential Elements

The best way to get started is to create a set of essential brand identity elements. If you are a large organisation and have a budget for brand building, we recommend you hire a brand consultant or agency to help you create these elements/documents. Sometimes having a fresh perspective from an expert can help you think differently and ensure that you are not missing out on any crucial aspect of branding. But if you are a small ministry or church, do not worry, you can work on 3 essential brand building elements by yourself and start your brand building journey.

1. Your Logo

Create a logo that represents your company. A logo is the visual identity that people remember. There are no rules on how to do it. Apple has a symbol of a fruit, while Google just has the letters of its name in a particular design. Both work. When you choose your logo, one thing you should make sure is that it represents who you are and what you do. Keep it simple. It makes it easy for people to recall simples logos.

The most powerful logo in the world is ‘The Cross’. It is simple, easily identifiable, easily replicable and with those two lines represent healing, deliverance, victory and redemption of the entire humanity. So, if you need inspiration to create a logo, you wont get a better one than the cross.

When you have the logo make sure it appears in all your online assets – website, mobile apps, social media channels. All your visual content should carry your logo. Make it part of all your online marketing activities.

2. Your Style Guide Document

A style guide is simply a document that records how you like your brand to be visually represented in the market.

For example, you can decide to use a specific set of fonts whenever you create a written content, image or advertising copy. You can select a set of colors that you like to use whenever you create a visual content. Colours are a powerful ways to build a church brand. Google always uses the multicolour layout, while Facebook tries to stick to their blue shade.

Once you have these specifications in place, put them in a word document and you have a simple version of a style-guide ready. Some of the key elements of a style guide are:

  • Visuals of the Logo, in different shapes, sizes, colors
  • Tagline, if any
  • Typography with details of the fonts for headline, body, etc.
  • Color palette with various colors that align to the main theme of your brand
  • Visual palette, which has the types of icons, types of images, layout etc., that you like to use in your campaigns

You could also share this document with your church design team or agency.

3. Your Brand Identity Master Document

This is a document that has answers to all the key questions about your brand. This is a work-in-progress document for your ministry that you will continue to tweak as you go along. It will serve as a reference document for your entire team to know how your brand needs to be represented in the market.

This document answers questions like:

  • How would you describe your church brand in 5 sentences?
  • How would you describe what your brand stands for in 280 characters?
  • What are some of the attributes or characters of your ministry brand?

For example: Some attributes or characters of a church can be: helpful, serving, educative, learning, evangelical, family oriented, helpful, etc.

  • Write down one paragraph that describes your church brand to a stranger in 2 mins. In business language it is called an ‘elevator pitch’.
  • What would you like to see represented in the home page of your website, the description field of social media channels and in SEO search column when someone looks for your ministry online?
  • What is the uniqueness of your church brand?
  • What is the vision for your ministry brand and how it will evolve in the days to come?

With these simple steps you have started building your online brand identity. Evolve this process as you go along by updating the documents regularly based on customer feedback and growth of your ministry.

Stay connected. Stay blessed.