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The Church and Branding

Written by Mark Van Steenwyk : April 12, 2005

Is it impossible for a church in America to NOT engage in some form of branding?  Most churches feel the need to have a logo, letter-head, a website, a core demographic, a purpose statement, etc…things which exist in part to distinguish that church from other churches.  Churches "brand" themselves to compete with other churches in the free market.  Doesn’t this sound like a relatively bad thing?  What is the alternative?

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3 Responses to “The Church and Branding”

  1. Chris on April 13th, 2005 12:47 am

    I don’t think it needs to be a bad thing necessarily. I might draw a distinction between having a sense of community identity that presents itself publicly in specific ways and “marketing.” I do think it’s odd to find churches listed in much the same way other advertisements are displayed.

  2. blorge on April 13th, 2005 9:51 am

    I have to agree with Chris on that one. If branding becomes the emphasis, then it runs into idolatorous territory. If it is subsumed within a missional framework, then I would be ok with it.

    That being said, on a personal level, I dislike an overemphasis on branding more because I’m a BoBo PoMo than for ecclesial reasons… If that makes sense.

  3. Jimmy on April 19th, 2005 9:23 pm

    If a group cannot exist apart from a shared identity, then “branding” or self-identification is necessary to even define who the “we” are. Maybe the problem is not THAT churches self-identify, but HOW they self-identify and with WHAT.

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