December 9, 2008

Welcome to Your Journey: Slogan or Story? Part 3

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When Gateway Community Church relocated and changed their name, they worked with Auxano to clarify their vision and to build a compelling brand. After their Vision Frame was developed,  the team collaborated to determine a brand promise of "Authentic Excitement." This promise reflected the strength of their collective soul, and the pattern of how God used them to effect lives with the gospel. The question then became, how do we reflect this promise in all of the church communications.  After hours of tagline brainstorming and weeks of reflection, the team developed the idea of "Welcome to Your Journey."  This phrase not only captures the essence of the brand promise, but sets the stage for real life stories, like the teasers in the top right of this "buzz-site" (a landing page used for guests, with the tagline as the URL put to use in external marketing.) Watch the stories rotate through. 

December 7, 2008

Live for a Change: Slogan or Story? Part 2

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In reflecting on yesterday's post, several great church marketing campaigns come to mind.  One is Sugar Creek Baptist Church's "Live for a Change" initiative. When Auxano navigated the Vision Pathway with this church, they also contracted with us to build their brand, including logo, graphic identity, ministry sub-brands and messaging. The roll out included actual life testimonies of their people that were two sentences long with the exclamation point of "Live for a Change" They even put these testimonies on outdoor billboards (as part of an external ad blitz) in addition to saturating their internal media.  Here are a few snippets and a link to some of the stories. Notice the consistent photographic styling and use of the logo as a"bug" to reinforce the brand in these raw and intriguing banners. 

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December 6, 2008

Slogan or Story?

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We spend a great deal of time helping churches build their brand as we communicate vision visually. One part of the brand is a tagline- a short phrase that communicates the promise or strength of the church and its vision. When this is done well, it can be an important part of the church's vision, messaging and marketing.  When it is done poorly it degrades into something flimsy and ineffective.  Here is a great article on how cheesy slogans fail to deliver and how we must position our message within the construct of a meaningful story.  From the current Fast Company: Kill the Slogans Dead. This is an adaptation of the Anti-Slogan Argument in the book, Made to Stick, by Dan and Chip Heath. 

So…what's the worst church slogan you have ever heard? 
November 28, 2008

Thanksliving

I had a moment that transcended the turkey, pilgrims and pumpkin pie this thanksgiving.  It was a moment of looking my children eyeball to eyeball and sensing a mutual gratitude for gift of each other.  In the interchange, Joel, my twelve year old, shared something he had learned- that this Thanksgiving should be about "Thanks-Living." We all laughed and leaned into this clever letter switching!  The new word carries with it the idea of tranforming an event into a way of life, a moment's celebration into a daily continuation. 

No doubt this new word will find its way into our family lexicon.

Just like there are special moments- literal seconds- that seem to hold more significance, maybe a sense of the eternal in time, there are a special words that do the same. One word, out of and endless possibility of sounds, words and phrases that clutter our lives each day, may break through with special meaning and shared value. 

Thanksliving.  May it be so. 
November 26, 2008

Structure as Solution

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This last week I led a quarterly offsite meeting for Faithbridge.  Faithbridge is second home church for me as I serve as a leadership coach on the staff. Our focus of the day was the "challenge of structure." I started the day by anchoring the topic of organizational structure into a biblical-theological foundation.  I asked the staff the simple question, 'When in biblical history did God provide structure as a solution." Here is some of the things on our list:

  • Structure of marriage is a solution to man being alone
  • Organization on the ark as a solution for preserving planet life   
  • The reorganization in Exodus 18 to provide wholeness, health and sustainability to people of Israel 
  • The levitical structure to provide worship and access to God on behalf of Israel 
  • Jesus choosing the 12 and sending the 72 as a solution for proclaiming the kingdom
  • Smaller organized groups facilitating discipleship – Acts 2   
  • The selection of 7 leaders when Hellenistic Jewish widows were being overlooked in the distribution of the bread – Acts 6 

We spent half the day rethinking ministry department structures based on the 40% rule:  Every 40% of growth requires a new structure.  

As I continued to think about structure as solution, I thought of the trinitarian structure.  What problem does the trinity solve?  It is the solution to God being loving and self-sufficient at the same time.