- Praise God
- Please be praying...
- What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Final Thoughts: If you don't pass the people test, nothing else matters
- What Every Church Needs to Know about Marketing: Part 3: Marketing is about People
- What Every Church Needs To Know about Marketing: Part 2: Marketing is Everything
- Getting Your Current Members to Invite Friends
- Through the eyes of a visitor
- Encouraging progress
- Please be praying
- Bootstrap Faith
- Know Our Hearts?
- Seldom Read But Always Evaluated
- Creating an Experience
- The Bond Between Music and Design
- The Church Exposed
- The Value Principle
- The Nike Effect: Part II
- The Nike Effect: Part I
- Starting New This New Year
- Christmas Revelation from Charlie Brown
- The Video: Speaking Starbucksian
- And The Winners Are...
- The Video: A Treasure Hunt
- The Video: We're Not Like That Church Down The Street
- The Video: Signs of Neediness
- The Video: Death to Papyrus and Comic Sans!
- The Video: Inconsistent Artwork
- A Thanksgiving Thought
- The Video: The Culture Crime
- The Video: Reserved for Barista
- The Video: Real Men Love Java
- The Video: Marketing is more than you realize
- The Video: The purpose of the video.
- What If Starbucks Marketed Like the Church? A Parable.
- re-Branding on Momentum
In our video, What if Starbucks Marketed Like the Church?, one of our cameos with a barista suggested that, "We aren’t like that store down the street, where they water their product down. We serve only 100% real coffee." This is particularly humorous to me because in the course of consulting with hundreds of churches, I have never met a church that says, "We really water it down,” only churches that claim that other churches do.
As a matter of fact, in a particular consulting season, I asked about ten churches in a row if they considered themselves "deeper" than the other churches in their community. Ten out of ten, despite being from different denominations and of different sizes, all claimed to be "deep". Go figure! Maybe those are just the churches that hire marketing consultants :). Maybe it’s that we all value depth and feel as though we’ve nailed it. Either way, we might just be missing it if we feel we have a unique claim on truth—or assume that others fall so short.
It’s similar to the “Got Milk” ads. They were an effort of the US Dairy Board to get people who don’t drink milk to start drinking it. This is very different than the ads by the individual dairies (like Borden or Lucerne) that make claims as to the superior quality of "their" milk. These ads are aimed at people who already drink milk—attempting to bolster their position with them.
When it comes to your promotional efforts as a church, any claim you make as to the quality of your truth does more to separate you from others in the eyes of a believer than to endear you to a non-Christian. Actually, that’s the least of what would appeal to someone on the outside of Christianity looking in—deciding if they want to know God in the first place. Spiritual truth and doctrine are critically important. But when a church outwardly communicates the superiority of its doctrinal statement, it only matters to those who are savvy enough to distinguish it—thus showing that they are not asking the masses to taste and see of His goodness, but rather talking to “church folk”, trying to rally the troops along common values. I'm not saying you are not right--just saying that non-believers don't care.
The point is, if I don’t drink milk, don’t waste your time telling me how perfect your milk is compared to everyone else. Convince me to drink milk. Any time we spend making a claim to "our milk's" superiority is always wasted on a world that doesn’t value milk in the first place. It’s always an argument of superiority that ultimately reveals that we are unaware of the decision-making process of the non-believer. If they aren’t drinkers of "milk", their primary need is to taste and see that He is good (Psalms 34:8).
Let's spend all of our efforts on bringing that to pass and applaud any church that makes progress in His name.
© Richard L. Reising
Fantastic post once again. I've always thought about this exact same topic. Seems that sometimes we church-folk lose sight of what language the non-believer is speaking.
Posted on Fri, Dec 12, 2008 @ 3:33 AM CST
I have really loved this whole series that you have done on the video. I think what I love the most about it is the fact that the churches I have been with have given no thought to marketing, it was an afterthought, so seeing so much thought put into our communication with the "outsiders" is very refreshing.
Posted on Fri, Dec 12, 2008 @ 11:29 PM CST
Nice post, but I haven't watched the video yet. You make some good points, however they seem to imply we should all want unbeliever's to come to our church. I don't think that is a given. The church in Acts, went outside the walls of the church and did evangelism. Church was about worship of God by believers and they brought new converts into the church for discipleship. But you are totally right about any kind of statements we might make about our superiority to other churches. That isn't what lost people need or want to hear. I recently left a seeker church mostly for this reason - we were promoting ourselves (Mostly the lead pastor from the pulpit) as better than the churches in our area because we did things better than they the rest. I think we should make much of our God, not our methods.
Posted on Sat, Dec 13, 2008 @ 9:21 AM CST
Well said about the Milk. The reason milk's classical positioning failed was it said, "you should drink your milk to be strong and get calcium" but that's not emotional. That doesn't effectively create a need. "Got Milk?" showing a chocolate chip cookie makes you remember how bad it is to not have milk in the fridge. (Checkout, "Truth, Lies and Advertising:The art of account planning" by a former Goodby, Silverstein & Partners plannner. Good stuff)
Posted on Sat, May 30, 2009 @ 1:16 AM CST