by Dan Kennedy, Kumveka Executive Director. He's shepherded a number of ministries through the rebrand process.

Is it time for my ministry to rebrand? If you’re asking this question, be assured you’re already on the right track. Because for ministries to be successful over the long-term, they need intentional development, execution, and ongoing investment in their brands.

So, let’s walk through a series of questions to get to the answer.

Are your goals are clearly defined? This concerns both defining the outcomes of your mission and vision and your financial model.

Do you understand the needs and perceptions of your target audiences? This includes understanding the motivations, real or perceived barriers, your market competitors, and how your audiences see and share your value equation.

Have you codified your Brand Strategy and are you executing against it? Your brand strategy should identify your key audiences, what you are promising these audiences, how you can prove these promises, and the personality of how you will communicate. It comes to life in your visual and messaging tools: logo, tagline, typography, etc.

Once you’ve worked through these questions, it’s time to dig a little deeper. There needs to be alignment between your Brand Strategy and...

  1. … how your brand is EXPRESSED.
    This can be uncovered through a Communications Audit. This process examines all materials that bear your identity—every web page, brochure, donor letter, social media post, etc. Misalignment is often characterized by an objective evaluation stating: “what you meant is not what you are saying.”
  2. … how your brand is PERCEIVED.
    This can be uncovered through Audience Research. It is said that, “it's not what you say, it’s what they hear.” As such, this process—performed qualitatively and/or quantitatively—uncovers what is on the mind of the people you are trying to reach (and serve). Misalignment is often characterized by an objective evaluation stating: “what you meant is not what they heard or think.”

  3. … how your brand is ACTED UPON.
    This can be uncovered through establishing Key Metrics that define success. When I worked at Procter & Gamble—where billions are spent on advertising—the joke was: “we know half of ad dollars are wasted, we just don’t know which half.” Most ministries don’t have that luxury. The discipline here is often characterized by routinely and intentionally examining existing metrics that are causal to delivering your financial model. Misalignment is often characterized by an objective evaluation stating: “what you meant is not happening.”

Have you identified areas of misalignment? Then it’s time to take action. Find a qualified, compassionate truth-teller who will help you bring your communication back into balance.

Has your ministry rebranded? Tell us about the experience in the comments.

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