NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–McDonald’s has a golden arch, Nike has a swoosh and the American Red Cross has, well, a big red cross. Such symbols help set companies and organizations apart and convey a clear brand image to the public. But can the same concept apply to churches?
When Dixie Lee Baptist Church outreach director Brian McKinley told church leaders he felt it was “time to refresh our image,” they agreed. The first step: updating the 1970s-era church logo.
So, the Loudon County, Tenn., church, with a regular worship attendance of about 240, turned to LifeWay Christian Resources for a custom logo design. Dixie Lee Baptist’s new logo now graces the cover of new ministry brochures, updated in-house information and “just about everything we’re printing now,” McKinley said.
LOGOS AND BRANDING
Church leaders are beginning to recognize the power of logos and the impact a logo can have on a brand, McKinley said. “We’re growing up in a sight and sound generation, and you have to get their attention somehow.”
LifeWay’s brand manager Woody Murray said a logo is one of the best ways to set a church apart, especially in an area with churches on nearly every corner. “You want people to remember your church.”
Murray said he often uses Matthew 5:16, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven,” to encourage church leaders to promote their services and distinctiveness.
“You have to let people know you’re there,” he said. “Your church may have exactly what they need, [but] they may not know you’re there.”
Murray explained that a church’s logo helps mold public perception, which ultimately helps establish the brand of the church. “People determine what you are, but you can shape what they think,” he said. “People brand you –- you can’t brand yourself.”
LOGOS BY LIFEWAY
Dixie Lee is one of four churches to use LifeWay’s custom logo package since the service was launched about six months ago, said Cathy Brown, a marketing coordinator for LifeWay’s Christian Stores.
“We’ve had calls for years asking if LifeWay did designer logos,” Brown said. “Now we do.”
LifeWay offers the options of choosing a pre-designed logo or having one specially designed. Churches that want custom logos are asked to fill out a profile survey so designers can become familiar with their vision and personality.
For less than $1,500, churches can purchase a custom logo package that includes five preliminary designs, a CD-Rom with the final design in various file formats and a business card design with up to eight names and titles. The package also includes a printer-ready stationery package with designs for letterhead and A-10 envelopes. Ready-made logos also are available.
USING A LOGO
Often, as in the case of Dixie Lee Baptist Church, the aim is to incorporate the church’s vision into the logo. Dixie Lee Baptist’s slogan –- “Your place to call home” -– along with its logo was designed to convey the message all are welcome at the church, including families, single parents and unmarried adults.
“The response to the logo really has been positive,” McKinley said. “This logo has meaning and purpose, whereas the last logo just kind of displayed the church name.”
Murray encouraged church leaders to look for unique ways to influence their communities through branding, slogans and logos. “Everybody has a cross,” he said. “You need something to help you stand out.”
The biggest mistake people make when considering a slogan is choosing one that focuses on the church rather than on what the church has to offer its members, he said.
“Churches tend to brag on who they are rather than communicate how they meet needs in the community,” Murray said. “Come up with a slogan and put it in terms of what it means to people. Branding, slogans and logos are all about reaching people.”
For more information on LifeWay’s logo services contact Cathy Brown at (615) 251-3975 (800-443-8032) or visit us online at www.lifewaystores.com/specialtyimprints.