I’ve had the privilege of building branding campaigns for zoos, restaurants, wedding planners, and even blueberry farms. Surprisingly, no matter how unique the business, the art of branding relies on three foundational principles: clean, constant, and consistent.
In fact, these timeless branding principles serve as the core elements to the growth of Christ’s ministry while on Earth. Moreover, the principles that allowed Jesus to build an enduring legacy should be reflected in your business or organization, just as they are practiced by some of the most prolific brands of our day.
In the first installment of this three-part series, we’ll discuss what it means to have a clean brand, why it’s important, and how this is exemplified by Jesus in the first century and currently by Google. Sounds a little ambitious, right? Let’s dive in!
Much more than a logo or slogan, your brand is the way your business or non-profit is perceived by the world. The image a company conveys says a great deal about the people involved, the product or services customers will receive, and the way customers will be treated.
You may not have thousands of dollars to invest in an elaborate branding campaign, but focusing on clean communication can have an immediate impact on the growth of your enterprise.
One of the most powerful predictors of brand awareness is simplicity. Communicating clearly and confidently to your target audience is imperative.
For a profound example of how crafting a clean brand can catalyze business growth, look no further than Google. From the very beginning, Google adopted a simple approach for allowing visitors to easily access the search engine: make it the only thing on the page!
A white landing page with a small search query box in the center was an entirely different look from Yahoo, the dominant search engine at the time. Yahoo was a cluttered mess of stock trends, sports scores, and daily news headlines inundating each visitor.
Brand presence for Google grew so quickly that in less than 5 years it had captured 80 percent of the market. Though they have branched into much broader tech markets now, Google still remains a clean and succinct brand. They had a competitive advantage in software, but their branding gave them a winsome personality.
Cleaning Up the Law
In a similar way, when Jesus stepped onto the scene in Jerusalem, the burden of abiding by the numerous and confusing set of religious laws of the day felt nothing short of impossible for the Jewish laity.
Throughout his three years of ministry on Earth, Christ engaged the Pharisees and Sadducees on multiple occasions in heated debate about his attempts to abolish the law. He insisted he had come to fulfill the law. In one sense, he came to clean it up!
Just look at the discussion recorded in Matthew 22:34-39:
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
In one simple response, Christ boiled hundreds of rules and regulations down to two succinct statements. Jesus’s reply in this scenario remains some of the most often quoted verses in the entire Bible nearly 2,000 years after they were uttered, which again speaks to the power of clean communication in growing a brand.
To ensure you are incorporating clean communication into your brand, whether online or in person, here are a few questions to gauge some areas that may need a little attention:
- Is the message being conveyed free of clutter?
- Does the design shape a user-friendly experience?
- Is the call to action obvious?
For more info on Christian branding principles, stay tuned for the next two installments of this series. For help in building a brand for your small business or non-profit, enroll in a course through ThirdPath or receive one-on-one consulting from Story First Creative.