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Rebranding Your Church, Ministry or Nonprofit? Here Are 5 Questions to Ask First.


At times, we all get frustrated or just plain tired of the way we do things. Maybe it’s repetition, maybe it’s competition, or maybe the culture or markets have changed. But chances are, as I discuss at length in my book, Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media, you’re simply not telling your story well. In that case, a “re-brand” or “brand refresh” might be in order. But don’t just leap off the branding cliff or hire a costly agency. Before you do anything drastic, start with these five questions. They’ll help you determine if it’s really time for a re-brand, or if you just need a vacation:

1. What do you really want to change? Do you need a simple “refresh” of the look, or a complete re-think of your identity and perception? Make sure you know the difference.

2. Is my logo simply out-dated? First of all, a logo isn’t your brand – it’s the visual expression of your brand story. Maybe your perception and “brand” are fine, but it’s just time to update the logo.

3. What is your current perception? What do people think of when they think of your church, ministry, or nonprofit?

4. Who am I getting advice from? Make sure they understand the difference between branding a church or nonprofit, versus branding a business. More than anything, make they know what they’re talking about. I once had a client who made major organizational decisions based on advice from his barber. Needless to say, he did some terribly stupid things.

5. What is your “one big thing?” Are you truly extraordinary at one thing or just average at a lot of things? Knowing the difference will help you stand out from the pack and get noticed.

If you’re interested in rebranding your organization, you need to order my book Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media. It’s the most comprehensive book on branding a church, ministry, or nonprofit. Don’t waste money going down wrong alleys, and find the information you need to tell your story more effectively. Today, branding is about telling such a compelling story that you cut through the clutter and distractions of a digital culture and get noticed. If your organization is doing important work, then you need to find a supportive audience that will help you accomplish that vision.

These five questions are a great place to start.

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Phil Cooke, Ph.D, is a filmmaker, media consultant, and founder of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles, California. His latest book is “Ideas on a Deadline: How to Be Creative When the Clock is Ticking." Find out more at philcooke.com.