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I love branding.

Call me a nerd, but I totally dig the strategies, methods, and approaches that organizations use in developing and spreading their stories.  I’m a junkie … garbling up any insights toward the successes and failures of organizations in the adventures of branding.  Interstate billboards, on-line blitzes, email spam, local advertisements, flyers, business cards, websites … they all feed my addiction.  Everywhere you turn, there’s a story.  Sometimes the stories captivate you, draw you in, and illicit a response.  Sometimes the stories confuse you.  Sometimes the stories leave you scratching your head;  their meaning beyond your recognition.  And still…sometimes the stories make you angry, turn you off … or, make you run to the competitors.

I need help.

Anyway, I’d like to share some of my insights and thoughts on this obsession.  These are rough edits, and not market tested … but, I feel that this may be helpful and challenging to many of us who are pursuing to tell a more authentic and intentional story about who we are and where we’re going.  For the sake of brevity … I’m going to break these posts up into three different posts:  On Branding and Church, On Branding and Self, and … On Branding and Events.

And so, this post serves as a general introduction to the core concept of branding.

A brand is a story which surrounds an organization, a movement, a cause, or a group.  It’s the narrative of who you are … where you’ve been, what you’ve done, and where you’re going.  It’s your definition.  Your mark.  Your calling card.  Deeper and more significant than marketing, branding seeks to clearly articulate in various forms the core of who you are and what you’re about.  Like it or not, you will be defined.  If you’re silent about your story, and give no thought toward it’s re-telling … the market (and those who don’t know you) will define your story for everyone else.

You can resist it – and end up frustrated that people don’t “get you”, mislabel you, or say poor things about your cause.  Or, you can embrace it … and get busy telling, promoting, and inviting people into your story.

So, let’s embrace it.  Let’s find creative ways of telling our stories….especially if our stories are significant and matter.