One of the coolest things about starting something from scratch is the ability to develop an identity for the entity. This involves the name and logo and materials, but is so much broader than that. I really enjoy the way Marty Neumeier describes it in, “The Brand Gap.”

“If you strech the concept of tribe just a little, you can see that a brand creates a kind of tribe. Depending on your Unique Buying State, you can join any number of tribes on any number of days and feel part of something bigger than yourself. You can belong to the Callaway tribe when you play golf, the VW tribe when you drive to work, and the Williams-Sonoma tribe when you cook a meal. You’re part of a select clan (or so you feel) when you buy products from these clearly differentiated companies.”

I think a church reaches this point when it has clearly differentiated itself from other Sunday options. So, two people discussing their church might be heard to say, “Are you going to North Point on Sunday?” as opposed to “Are you going to church Sunday?” In other words, the product is so different from the typical product in the category that it becomes a category in and of itself.

People might say, “Can I borrow your iPod?” or “Let’s grab some Starbucks,” which are functionally the same as saying “mp3 player” or “coffee” but from the perspective of tribe are very different.

So, how does a new church effectively differentiate itself from other Sunday options? Post your comments!