For Episode 13 of the Ministry at Scale Podcast, we interviewed Dave Wright, Vice President of Communications and Brand Strategy at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dave walked us through his strategy for creating consistent, beautiful branding and encouraging creativity within his team. Listen to the full episode at fiveq.com/podcast.
Intentionality and Consistency
When we asked Dave, “How do you manage a brand for an organization and keep it so consistent, both online and offline?” he answered us with two words, “Intentionality and consistency.” Intentionality meaning that branding is more than a word, but an action that needs to be put into practice and supported by the entire team. As a brand shifts and grows, it’s important to make sure all channels within the organization are moving in the same direction.
This is where consistency comes in – people get confused by brands that are inconsistent. Whether it be slide decks with mismatched colors and fonts or a logo on a t-shirt that doesn’t match the logo on the website, consistency helps people outside of the organization recognize a brand. And recognition supports marketing efforts.
Dave explained that it takes time to educate people within an organization, so it’s important to start with a solid brand guide for them to use. Of course, there are times when staff may go outside of the brand guidelines, and this is where Dave encourages “gracious accountability” – make sure you thank them for being a brand ambassador and reinforce that you want to train and equip them to be as effective as possible.
Building a creative team
According to Dave, a key part of brand creation is a well-balanced and well-encouraged team. He explains that he built his Communications and Brand Strategy team by “filling seats with people who can be who they are and use their strengths” every day. Taking time to recognize the skill set of each team member, and also recognizing the weaknesses of their leader, goes a long way toward empowering the team as a whole.
Another important piece of the puzzle is keeping the team inspired creatively. Dave’s team has a Slack channel dedicated to sharing bits of inspiration – and the team is encouraged to use it as often as possible to share anything and everything to get the creative juices flowing. They also implemented an offsite “creative workday” to either spend a day together working on one specific project or visiting a museum to experience some visual inspiration.
All in all, Dave explained that it is important as a leader to give your team members the space and opportunity to be as creative as possible – especially making sure that they are encouraged to share their ideas without being shut down.
For an individual looking for a new book to read, Dave recommends The Vision Driven Leader by Michael Hyatt. For a leadership team, he recommends No Fail Communication by Michael Hyatt, a book that helps explain how to communicate internally as an organization.
To see Dave’s work and learn more about the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, visit their website at www.mbts.edu.