Be Authentic in Your Branding

In the simplest way, being authentic means staying true to who you are, what you do and who you connect with. You want your branding to reflect who you are. People need to know we are serious before they take us seriously.

One of the worst things you can do is to have your branding pretend to be something that you aren’t. People want to walk into your organization and know what to expect.  

If we don’t promote who we are today it creates a disconnect between what you are telling people you are and who you are. Imagine if you saw promotions for a ham dinner and when you showed up it was turkey. Would you be willing to trust the next dinner that this organization had? Or imagine if an organization was promoting a home made bake sale and when you got there all the items were in grocery store packaging with the bar coded labels still on. Would you be interested in buying any baked goods? The same goes for our organizations. We need to be promoting who we are and the experience people will get when they walk through our doors.

Some churches look the same for all the wrong reasons. They think if it works for that successful church or that pastor then it must work for us. Like your mom used to say, “If they go jump off a bridge, are you going to do it to?” You can’t just copy a trend or what another church is doing and think that it is going to work in your community and your church. The same goes for businesses, your business is different than the competitors. Every organization has a unique blend of people, resources, community, opinions and ideas.  

Sometimes being authentic means that you need to recognize the limits of your organization. It can be hard to do this and you may not like what you see. You may want to project a youthful church, but when you look out at your congregation the average age is closer to 50 or 60. Or you may want to sell your business as a jack of all trades, when you really are the best at specializing in one thing. The good news is that we can change, but our brand needs to promote who we are today as well as who we aspire to be in the future. You need to take deliberate effort to match what your organization does with what your customers/members and community see you as.

When you take the time to reflect on who you are in thinking about your brand you need to be true to who you are now and in the future. Your organization is one of a kind. Being Authentic means embracing your past, present and future.