Smashing Your Brand: Picture, Color, and Shape

Martin Lindstrom is a global branding guru and expert on consumer shopping behavior whose work is in demand by corporations worldwide. In his book Brand Sense, Lindstrom reveals how the world’s most successful companies and products integrate touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound with startling results.

Tapping into the complexity of our senses works in ChurchWorld, too.

An overview of Lindstrom’s Smash Your Brand philosophy was covered in this post. Beginning today and continuing for the next three posts, I want to take a closer look at how these 12 philosophies might be applied in ChurchWorld.

I will be using generic examples, but where appropriate, I will illustrate specific uses of the Smash Your Brand concepts used in my church – Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. A disclaimer: though I am involved in a volunteer leadership capacity, these observations are my own and have not been vetted by Elevation Church staff.

Let’s dive into the first three!

Smashing Your Brand Picture Color Shape

Smash Your Picture

Organizations today suffer from fragmentation of brand opportunity. Packaging is done by X, marketing brochures by Y, and publicity by Z. Additionally, organizations recycle images, frequently change designers and photographers, and often utilize different creative groups by different departments.  This lack of integration fragments the message. Worse yet is the use of non-branded, stereotypical images.

ChurchWorld Application: As much as possible, organize all creative elements in one department: worship planning, staging, print (worship cards, promotion, etc.), marketing, publicity, and internal uses. Using this concept, your church can begin to build brand continuity over a period of years.

Elevation Church: As a multi-site church with thirteen locations, Elevation relies heavily on brand continuity. In order to achieve this, the Creative Department, led by Pastor Larry Hubatka, is the largest in the church personnel wise (both paid and volunteer). Additionally, a significant percentage of the annual budget is earmarked to make sure our vision – That people far from God be raised to life in Christ – is presented in a consistent manner.

Smash Your Color

Color is essential to brands as it is the most visible (and obvious) first point of communication. School buses, police cars, and fire trucks first and foremost distinguish themselves by their color. Want a cab? Your first thought is probably Yellow Cab. Looking for the mail? You are watching out for a white vehicle with red and blue trim. The use of a color in a logo, and then sporadically splashing it across print materials, websites, and in your facility will not automatically build brand awareness. However, colors create clear associations in our minds, and these same associations can’t help but benefit your brand.

ChurchWorld Application: Color selections are very subjective, and you definitely don’t want to leave this to a committee choice, not matter how well-intentioned! Consult with a marketing/branding firm that can help you develop a palette of colors for use in all your platforms: print, digital, signage, and facility. The results will be a solid investment for your future.

Elevation Church: In a word, Orange. From the very beginning of the church in 2006, Pastor Steven Furtick chose orange as the dominant color for all things Elevation. Ten years later, the color has been woven into every imaginable use: print materials, digital uses, staging, lighting, T-shirts by the thousands, even orange makeup for a special black-light stage concept.

Smash Your Shape

Shape is one of the most overlooked branding components, even though certain shapes clearly announce the brand in question. Particular shapes have become synonymous with certain brands: Coke and its bottle or McDonald’s Golden Arches.

ChurchWorld Application: Do you use a unique shape in your logo? Is there a unique part of your campus facility that could be considered for use? It doesn’t need to dominate, but become a subtle part of a unified whole.

Elevation Church: Again, a simple shape has defined Elevation from the beginning: a sphere with an inverted V (typically an orange background). elevation-logoThe use of the inverted V has taken all forms: from set backdrops to print backgrounds and even as keyboard stands. It usually looks like the image depicted, but also appears with the inverted V as a stand-alone.


Next Up: Name, Language, Icon

inspired by and adapted from Brand Sense by Martin Lindstrom


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