The Importance of Trademarks for Churches
Your ministry's goodwill and reputation are on the line.

Once strictly a concern of businesses, "branding" is just as important today for nonprofits, including churches. Although churches and ministries typically do not market products and services in the same way as businesses, they still rely on their names, logos, slogans, and other trademarks to express their identities and convey messages to the public.

Every organization, including churches (whether they know it or not) has a brand. The word "brand" has many definitions, but generally includes the public identity that signifies the ideas and values setting an organization apart from others. Trademarks—including names, logos, and slogans—encapsulate an organization's brand.

Although church trademarks may never be known as well as corporate brands like Apple or Google, they nevertheless serve equally important purposes for their constituencies—and therefore often merit protection.

Quick identification

A trademark of a business, commercial product, or service helps consumers identify and remember certain characteristics of the product or service. When parents of children see large golden arches, for example, they immediately know (or at least their children know) that Happy Meals are nearby. Within the nonprofit sector, trademarks similarly help the public to know the quality of services, the caliber of programs, the values of the organization, and the credibility of information.

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