Brilliant Brands® Show: Helping churches make their brand story, brand identity, and marketing strategies impossible to ignore
Justin Keller – Brand Strategist, and Entrepreneur, Author
Justin Keller is a former accidental marketer, and creative director turned church branding expert and entrepreneur. Each episode, Justin unpacks the strategies that he uses to help churches all across America make their brand story, their brand visuals, and their marketing impossible to ignore. And now you have the chance to challenge the way you see things, rebel against complacency, comfort, and conformity, and find the untold brilliance for your church brand. Find out more at
You can have the most amazing, the largest, and the most inspiring vision, but if you can't create mass buy-in; your vision will be merely a dream. In this episode, I talk about three basic components that are vital for creating mass buy-in. I give you a simple example by showing you how Apple created buy-in with their iPods and trumped other competitors who had already put mp3 players in the market.

You've heard these words before, "It's just not our vision." Those infamous words have become a staple metric for how organizations decide what the right strategic move is for their church. But in this episode, I challenge your thoughts on the priority that vision should, or should not, have when it comes to building your brand. I'll unpack the four problems that are a result of leading with vision, and not with promises kept. And I'll give you a real brand example with how Amazon accomplishes vision one right decision at a time.

Andrea's church has a lot of big ideas, but she's concerned that they don't follow through with enough of the ideas. Andrea's struggle is the struggle of so many other churches that have a large vision and a lot of ideas, but they lack the follow through. In this episode, I talk about four practical things you can do to make sure that you don't become known for overpromising and under delivering as a church brand.

Leading change in your organization is impossible if you don’t know how to lead up. You can have the best ideas, even have the support of your team, but if your leadership doesn’t buy-in – nothing will happen. And when it comes to getting wins with your leadership, it all starts with knowing when to let them win. In this episode, I talk about a critical approach for leading up to your organization and give you a practical approach to gaining trust and influence in your organization.

In this episode, I talk about what it's like to inherit a brand and lead change with Tyler Reagin, President of Catalyst. Catalyst is a community of changemakers that uses live events, a weekly podcast, digital resources, and a community-building app to leans into leaders who are seeking to create courageous change in the world. Over 100,000 leaders from around the world connect to Catalyst. Tyler and I talk about how he navigated making changes in well-respected organization, the filters he used to determine the priority in which he made the changes, and the critical decisions that he made to build a culture that modeled the leadership that they were inspiring others to live out. Before leading the charge at Catalyst, Tyler served for seven years under the leadership of Andy Stanley as the Service Programming Director of Browns Bridge Community Church (a campus of North Point Ministries).

Traditionally, we have been taught that a clear mission statement is a critical component of your organization’s communication. Is it possible that we’ve given the mission statement too much of a priority? In this episode, I challenge you to reconsider the way you use your mission statement – if you even still utilize it at all. You will learn a more effective alternative to your mission statement and I will give you real big brand examples of this. Simplifying your message doesn’t diminish your purpose. Instead, it increases the chance that your purpose will resonate and be remembered.

We've heard it said that content is king but in this episode, I talk about why culture is king for your church brand. Culture is a big deal for your brand. People can forgive a bad logo, but there's no grace for a crappy culture. Culture is being shaped by every decision that you make, and it's creating the conversations that are being had about your church. I present the idea that your brand culture is built internally first and challenge you to invest in building advocates, not just invest in advertising.

What do the Bachelor and online dating have in common with the way we sometimes build our brands as churches? You'll find out in this episode as I go further on rule number three for building a brilliant brand from the previous episode.  On this episode, I talk about how building a brand on hype sets false expectations for your audience and the danger of seducing our audience with short-term buzz.

In this episode, I unpack rule number three for building a brilliant church brand from my book, Rebel Brands. I talk about what kind of brand awareness your church should be building and the difference between building a brand on hype over help. I talk about the trap that churches and big brands fall into when it comes to promoting their brand, and the danger we face of covering up our purpose with hype.

In this Q&A episode, the caller was asking what the right strategy should be to convince his leadership they needed a visual rebrand. In this episode, I give our caller a strategy that will help him have greater buy-in with his leadership. Most importantly, the strategy that I gave him will do so much more than changing a logo – it will advance the purpose of the church even greater.

Most people either think they are creative, or they think they aren't. And people tend to think that if it's clever, it must be creative. But in this episode, I talked with Jonathan Malm about what creativity really is. Jonathan and I talked about the role creativity in the church, what really makes someone creative, and creative ways to think about the communication for your church brand. The conversation was sparked by his new book, The Hidden Option, which is all about using creativity to solve life's issues.

In this episode, Drew called in with a question asking about communicating vision through a rebrand. Like so many other organizations, Drew's church has been struggling to find the right voice to connect with their congregation and those outside of their church. And in the case of Drew's church, we discovered what the real issue is, and what are rebrand won't fix for them if they don't get their purpose clear first.

In this episode, I go beyond brilliant brands rule number 2: "If it doesn't live everywhere, it doesn't live anywhere," where I talked about how you need to build a brand on promises and not on aspirations. But I wanted to help show you a practical example of what it looks like to make and keep your brand promises. In this episode, I use a real experience that I had with Nordstroms to help you think through what it means to back up what you say and build a brand on promises kept.

What would change for your church brand's messaging if you could only communicate what is true? What if you couldn't build your marketing around hype and aspiration? In this episode, I talk about a lesson on branding that I learned early on in my marriage. The lesson I learned has changed everything for me, and the way I view what a brand is and the relationship it has with an audience. As we look at rule number two for building a brilliant brand, you'll start to see that what you communicate to your audience – they expect.

In this episode, I help you understand what the true definition of the word "brand." Depending on who you ask, the definition of branding will vary from person to person. And if you're a church, it's never been more important that you understand what a brand is, and how it goes far beyond your logo and website. I give you an example of how Radio Shack missed the mark on defining their brand, and I help you make it easier to measure how well your brand is doing.

My journey to finding my untold brilliance

A look at why this show may not be for you.