Church Branding in Nigeria: An Overview (2)
Some weeks ago, we began a series to emphasize how much more churches can do as regards branding and how it is not unspiritual to engage in effective brand communications. Yes, a brand- conscious church would etch its message in the heart of worshippers and wield strong loyalty and influence in its community.
The message of Christ to the world while he was alive on earth had a central idea to which every action, word, miracle, location, communication, friend/disciple was aligned — an effective brand strategy. Although there is an undeniable spiritual undertone to his ministry, the consistency of his brand and message played a huge role in creating a followership that went beyond the spread of the Gospel to having a strong hold on people so much that they could lay down their lives for the message of Christ. Talk about martyrs. The word Christian was first used to describe a set of people who were friends and followers of the Christ. “The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.” ( Acts 11: 26).
Just like Jesus Christ, churches need to connect emotionally and create meaningful relationships while preaching the faith and align all brand touch points with the doctrines and messages. We have been able to fall in love, trust and believe in the superiority of the message of Christ to the world because of certain conscious patterns that marked the life of Christ and the accounts.
To a great extent, different Nigerian churches have been able to apply different fragments of branding which has created general perceptions about them. Find a signage on any Nigerian street with a green swoosh design at the bottom corner and be sure a Redeemed church is in the area. You would also notice that most RCCG churches have their circular crest logo placed centrally on the church building — that is remarkably RCCG style. Although I cannot tell the purpose of these patterns, the consistent usage has however made it memorable. This is also the case with the distinctive ‘let somebody shout hallelujah’ phrase by RCCG’s general overseer.
Beyond consistency, purposefulness or functionality in applying branding systems; it helps in tracking results and gaining insights on how effectively the brand is communicating its message. Jesus once asked his disciples the questions ‘who do men say I am?’ and ‘who do you say I am?’ Both questions would seem like a quick audit to find out if his conscious patterns were achieving the purpose of his message and if he was being perceived appropriately. At FourthCanvas, we once had a discussion on the functionality of the dove facing downward on the RCCG logo; even though we agree along the lines of right or wrong, we appreciated the simplicity behind the logo idea which marks its memorability — a function that is very important.
Meanwhile, with the advent of social media and the internet, churches, as well as many corporate organizations, have begun to embrace an open persona; a conscious decision to reflect an aura with their visual identity systems, church experience, website, social media platforms, and other points in which the church interacts with its online audience.
Engaging an online audience would always involve drawing the connection between the church’s doctrine and the content that is provided for the audience. We would discuss this further in a subsequent piece, for now, let us draw the curtain.
See you soon!