Sometimes conversations that mix marketing and ministry don’t go well. In this post, I will not being dealing with a biblical basis of branding or marketing, but I will discuss the biblical integration with one branding tactic- the development of an effective tagline.
What is a tagline?
It is short, compelling phrase that makes a promise about your ministry to people both inside and outside of your ministry. Other words people might associate with a tagline are a motto, slogan, jingle or catchphrase. Historic examples range from Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” to Nike’s “Just Do It.” Recent examples from the 2011 Superbowl ads include Coca Cola’s “Open Happiness” and Chrysler’s “Imported from Detroit.”
What a tagline is not.
A tagline is not your mission or vision. In almost every vision session or marketing consultation I conduct, people are confused about the difference and appreciate constant reminders with clear definitions. Mission and vision language are for your internal ministry audience only. A tagline is for both your external and internal audience, with a special emphasis on the external– people who don’t know about your ministry.
What does a tagline do?
A tagline positions your ministry based on a promise. When marketers use the word “position” they are referring to both the “position” in someone’s mind (How do people file your ministry in their brain?) and the position relative to other ministry offerings. (How does our ministry compare with others?)
Do I have to have a tagline?
No, but generally it is an opportunity that can be missed if you don’t.
How long does a tagline last?
Depending on what industry it represents, taglines can change every 1-2 years or may last generations. BWM’s tagline, “The Ultimate Driving Machine” has endured for over 40 years. I think a church should be consistent enough to stick with a good tagline for 2-5 years. The key is to stay consistently consistent while remaining fervently relevant.
HOW TO DEVELOP A TAGLINE
Here are the steps required to develop an effective tagline. Each step has a page with further information and tools.
Step #1: Revisit your vision. You will want to first clarify the identity and direction of your church. Use this tool to assess your clarity.
Step #2: Decide on a gospel-centered promise. Use another tool, developed by Auxano Design, to decide on what gospel promise your ministry best fulfills.
Step #3: Brainstorm many possible taglines based on your promise. The key is more. Follow these steps to make your list big enough.
Step #4: Review taglines from other ministries and competitors. Make sure your voice and message are unique.
Step #5: Reduce your list to the top five taglines. Don’t make the decision to quick. Follow some simple steps over two weeks.
Step #6 : Test your tagline with people outside of your ministry. Here is a quick way to test your external audience for free.