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.
Recently, I read an article about how United Airlines plan to improve its connection to passengers through technology… primarily mobile.
United has been my go-to airline for the past 13 years. The vast majority of my work has been here in the states, so to achieve Gold status—living in the middle of the country, no less—is no easy feat. I’ve had A LOT of experience with gate agents, customer service reps, & flight attendants. Some were good, most weren’t.
Technology isn’t going to help in the way they’re hoping. People are.
People who act like they care. That my problem matters to them & they’re willing to do whatever is within their power to help.
Technology (at best) is just an extension of the customer experience. Not the foundation of it.
Instead of investing in tech, invest in service training. Or better yet, in hiring & recruiting strategies that attract people who actually do care in the first place.
Whether in the marketplace or in ministry, the very people we’re hoping to serve get shortchanged when we elevate tools over training. Every. Time.
What do these three things have in common? They’re all questions I was asked as part of a backstories with speakers series, hosted by the new online conference Foundations. If you missed it, be sure to check it out here
Speaking of Foundations, I may or may not have recorded this complete talk no less than 9 times. (Say this with me slowly… Nine.Times.)
We won’t get into how many partial recordings, editing hours, or times it was fully submitted as “done” before it was “re-done” were involved, lest my sanity be questioned. (Somewhere along the way, I may have crossed the line from just wanting to do a good job to, um… something else entirely.)
Needless to say, I’m finally feeling good about it & can’t wait to hear what you guys think.
If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time. Best part is you don’t even need to leave your desk—Just save July 22nd. Also, rumor has it additional speakers have been added. These are folks I respect immensely & are too many to mention. (Check out the speaker section on the website & prepare to have your mind blown)
“I just don’t get it,” he sighed. “I feel like I’ve been repeating the same thing for months until I’m blue in the face. Why aren’t people getting on board with the new vision?”
Many of the leaders I work with are in the midst of leading through change. Some big, some small, but all with their own unique challenges.
I’ve found there are three common denominators why people tend to resist change and what we can do about it.
I wrote a post for Catalyst that talks more about this that published today & I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Does media matter? How can churches reach people without a big marketing budget? Isn’t “marketing” kind of a dirty word in a ministry context anyway?
Phil Cooke and I were interviewed by Justin Blaney at Innovate for Jesus this morning and these were just a few of the topics we covered. Lots of great stuff shared for ministry leaders big and small (And if you look closely, about three quarters of the way through, you might see my Great Dane slipping by in the background… Kind of a Where’s Waldo sorta thing)
Here’s a few highlights that were tweeted:
“We have the greatest story ever told. But if our audience doesn’t speak “Christianese” we need to adapt to their context”
“When every ministry has its own logo and brand identity, you’re setting them up to compete with each other”
“The people that really break through are the ones that focus. We were made to focus”
“If we don’t define what is important, by default, nothing is”
“The average TV is on for eight hours a day. The average preacher preaches for an hour a week. Who’s winning the battle?”
“The most creative ministries are often the ones that didn’t have money to throw at the problem”
What are some of communication principles you’ve found to work?
A lot of the folks in my circles tend to be leaders. Oftentimes Lead Pastors, Executive Pastors and Communication Directors. And some of these leaders have huge hearts to help others—and others really need to know about it. So if you haven’t already heard of unSeminary, this is a resource you definitely want to check out.
Founded by Rich Birch, Operations Pastor at Liquid Church, (and all around great guy) he offers up some great, practical resources to guide your church communications. Here’s a highlight reel of some of the goodies you’ll find:
Welcome Home Magazine << Just launched, free resource stocked with great ideas to make guests feel more welcome
I honestly haven’t come across another one-stop-shop that offers so much free, quality stuff as unSeminary. Rich was a fellow speaker at Collyde last year when we first met, and he did a great job of helping me keep the crazy at bay before my session started. He’s continued to impress me ever since.
** Side note ** This is not an endorsed post. unSeminary is just a great resource and the world will be a better place if others know about it.