The whole idea of branding can be confusing for a lot of smart people. And it’s easy to see why with all of the different definitions floating around—is it what other people say you are? Is it your logo? Or the website & other promotional channels?
The simplest way to wrap our minds around this is to think of it as a promise we’re making of what to expect, and how well we consistently deliver on that promise.
This all comes down to the EXPERIENCE we’re offering. Are we who we say we are?
When we think of it as a promise, we’re in control—we manage the expectations and experience of that promise. If we allow others to define who we are, we’re constantly in a reaction mode.
This goes beyond what we say in bulletins, brochures, & billboards to what we actually do.
Everything else is just a channel for delivering on that promise.
It can be tempting to chase after “free” opportunities
- A volunteer is willing to start a new ministry idea
- An organization is offering to sponsor an initiative on your behalf
- Someone is willing to include your ad on their website, magazine or newsletter
- A partner wants to send a summer intern/assistant/extra-hands-and-feet-to-do-work-for-you
Sounds great, right? I mean, who doesn’t like free?
Before jumping on board, remember everything has a price. Sometimes it’s actual, physical dollars & cents. Other times it’s time. Or relationships. Or how much it impacts your brand or reputation.
So be sure to ask first:
- Is the timing right for this opportunity?
- What will it really cost?
- Will it ultimately help accomplish what we’re supposed to do?
“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.”