We refer to Branding, Marketing and Advertising all over our blog. It’s how we distinguish between 3 very different concepts. Understand the difference between these 3 and you’ll see consistent growth, but confuse these, or believe they’re the same interchangeable concept, and you’ll by wondering why you’re spinning your wheels and not getting any traction.

In the world or marketing, there are a lot of words that get used here and there. Sometimes they’re synonyms for a concept, and other times the way one person uses ‘Branding’ is different than what someone else uses when they say ‘Branding’.

We’re not trying to set the records straight on Branding, Marketing and Advertising, and we’re definitely not trying to rewrite the dictionary, but rather let you know how these words will be used in context here on and help you distinguish between 3 concepts that are vital to how people experience your church.


Branding is what you decide you want to be known for.

How do you want people to feel when they think of your church? If your church already has a slogan or tagline, you’re well on your way. If you’re just getting started with building a ‘brand’ for your church, think about some words that describe how you’d like to be know.

Here are some ideas (not an all-inclusive list):

  • Spirit-led
  • professional
  • exciting
  • friendly
  • welcoming
  • entertaining
  • intense
  • casual

Often your branding will be 3 or 4 words that work together to create a picture of who your church is – just like the original form of branding was to identify which cow belonged to which farm.  Try to focus on 3-4 at the most.  This will give a clear picture for your team (and people who join your church in the future) of who you are and how they can be a part of your church.


Marketing is creating an environment for people to experience your brand.

Think of it in the context: When someone visits your church for the first time, will they leave saying “Wow, that church is ________________ .” If your marketing is consistent, they’ll be able to say something close what you’ve determined for your brand.

Here are a few brand examples, and ways to communicate that brand:


Ideas: Have someone who stands at the front door and opens it as people walk in, a coffee station in the foyer for people to socialize before service, a guest package that tells people the different ways to get involved at your church and information about who to call if they have a need.


Ideas: All of your service transitions are scripted so whoever has the microphone isn’t stumbling over words, start exactly on time, have a custom-designed bulletin printed on high-gloss paper, and print material is checked multiple times by multiple people for typos, parking lot landscaping is maintained weekly.

Having your branding be professional doesn’t mean it can’t also be welcoming or casual, but when you have to choose between a handwritten sign or a professionally printed sign, you plan ahead to have a professional sign designed and hung.


Ideas: Pastor wears jeans and a t-shirt while speaking, the ‘terminology’ isn’t tradition Christian words, but words that anyone off the street would understand, the entrance has couches and chairs and the person locking the doors after service plans to stay around for an hour while conversations happen, print material is laid back



Letting people know what your branding is and what to expect from your marketing.


Learn more about using your Branding, Marketing and Advertising to build trust with new guests. Download our free ebook:


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