Even though many churches don't like to think in terms of "Marketing" or "Branding", if your church has a logo, website, sign, or uses a Sunday bulletin, or does anything to promote itself in your community, then you're expressing your "brand" to your community. Simply put, your brand is the image you present to your community. Some churches brand themselves as being family friendly, others brand themselves as being churches for college aged people, or as a church for "seasoned saints". The brand you express is directly influenced by your mission and vision statements.
In his article on consistent branding, Matt McKee talks about what a brand is, and isn't, and how to develop a good one.
His 6 points include:
1) Good branding in your church is more than a good feeling.
It’s not only our job to help connect with people on an emotional level, but it is truly our job to help people connect on a spiritual level. Good branding goes past the emotion and truly brings color to someone’s life in a spiritual way.
2) Complexity to simplicity.
It’s very easy to make things complex, but you have to work very hard to make things simple. If you had to define your ministry in one word, could you do it?
3) Design consistency.
If you don’t stay consistent, you might as well tell your audience that you really don’t know what you’re doing.
4) Be relevant.
This does not mean play Lady Gaga in your church because she’s the most followed person on Twitter. Being relevant to your community may mean you teach them to be better parents or how to help a neighbor.
5) Great companies and brands tell stories.
God has given everyone a story. Every great story has a story of redemption, a story of grace. Tell your story, and then tell the greatest story.
6) It isn’t about you.
What does this all mean?
Grasp what your community wants and needs, and you can become a great brand. What problems are you solving for your community? On a practical level? It’s been too long since the church has asked this question.
When you stop and think about every printed piece your church produces, every sign, every website, every bulletin... are you presenting a consistent brand? If not, maybe it's time to reevaluate what you're doing.