I work with a lot of churches, nonprofits, and civic organizations, mostly helping them with websites and digital marketing. In that time I have noticed a trend that concerns me, most of these organizations don’t understand their brand, what it is, and how to manage and communicate about it.
Wikipedia says, “Branding is a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company from competitors and create a lasting impression in the minds of customers.” That’s about right. Your brand is what makes you different. Your brand is what creates an impression on people. Your brand is what you are known for and what gets people excited about your organization.
What concerns me for churches, nonprofits, and civic organizations is that they often can’t tell me what makes them different from the organization down the street. Or, they try to explain how they are different and then give an explanation that could also apply to 100 different organizations in a 5-mile radius.
So, here is what I want to say to any churches, nonprofits, or civic organizations reading this post. Be different, be very different. People want to be a part of something unique, outstanding, amazing, etc. No one wants to be a part of “just another _____.” Take the time to determine what makes you uniquely amazing, and then talk about that, constantly.
This is what digital marketing is at its core, an expression of what makes an organization great so that more people can experience how great that organization is and join in the mission.
Three steps for churches, nonprofits, and civic organizations to jump start your digital marketing through clear branding.
- Ask yourself why you are unique. Now ask again. And, now that you have asked twice, ask again. If you dig deeply, you will begin to understand why people love you and want to be a part of what you are doing.
- Look at all of your programs, messaging, marketing, training, etc. and ask yourself, “does this line up with what makes us truly unique?” If it doesn’t line up, fix it immediately.
- Promote your unique message. Once you are focused on what makes you unique, people will want to hear about it. Make sure you tell them about it.
This may seem overly simple, but I have seen many organizations decline and die off for the simple reason that they didn’t understand why they were unique. Find what makes you unique and talk about nothing else. It will promote growth like nothing else you can do.
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