As an elder or pastor of your church, it can seem intimidating to phase out a brand that your congregation has grown to know and love, and replace it with something new. When the time finally comes around, there are several considerations to make for rolling out that rebrand to your church.
How do you announce the rebrand to your congregation?
What should have the logo and what shouldn't?
These are 5 steps Restore Graphics recommends to help ensure the transition goes well.
Once the logo is totally finalized and approved, set a date about a month out to "launch" the new branding. The idea is to make the transition seamless, quick, and foster positive energy around the new brand.
One church turned it into an event they called the "Rebuild Celebration". It gave church leadership a chance to share their vision for the future and what the new brand means for the church. They explained the thought that went into the logo, and showed the logo animation before a time of worship. They also printed pop-up welcome banners for the annex.
If you haven't already, use the few weeks leading up to the official launch to warm the congregation up to the idea. Change can be difficult, and getting everyone on board as early as possible is key to a smooth rebrand transition.
Explain the thought process behind the decision to rebrand, and what you're excited about. Your vision as a pastor or elder is going to be what unifies the body of your church toward a common goal that is bigger than a logo or a new color scheme.
Make a list of the highest-visibility places the logo will live. If you already have brand collateral with your old logo, collect those materials and use them as a starting point.
From there, add anything that you may have been hoping to do, but have waited until now. Maybe you've thought of adding a promotional video to your website, but wanted to hold off until the church had a new logo. Add it to the list - now is the time!
It's helpful to think about rolling out a church rebrand on two fronts: Internal and External. Knowing who these audiences are can help you determine which one is the priority for communicating your new brand, and how to speak to both.
As a church, your internal audience is your congregation of church members. The internal audience sees parts of the branding that are only visible from the inside, like worship bulletins.
An internal rollout of the rebrand is going to involve updating these elements. Everything that your church body interacts with on a weekly basis will need a unified look, from announcement slides to foyer decorations.
An external rebrand rollout can involve anything that people in your community will see, whether or not they are church members. This can include the sign in front of your church building, social media content, and billboards around your local area.
Now it's time to take action. Work with a vendor or creative agency to print and produce the materials that will show off your new branding and make a visual impact. Use your brand guidelines (usually provided by the agency or designer) to answer questions about things like sizing, color and pattern usage, fonts, etc.
Take your high-visibility list from Step 3 and check off each item as it comes in.
Some things don't need your logo at all! Often, simply using the fonts and colors from your church brand is enough to unify the look and feel of the experience at your church, for both members and visitors.
Over-stating and over-populating the logo on everything can be a bit overwhelming, so take it slow, and err on the side of caution. Brand recognition takes time to build up, and the last thing you want to do is make your audiences tired of seeing it everywhere they turn.
It doesn't matter how good your rebrand is, it can be overworked and induce "brand exhaustion" - not a good outcome.
That said, look for opportunities to show off your identity as a church. Praise God for what he is doing in the life of your congregation!