Date

5-2016

Department

Communication Studies

Degree

Master of Arts (MA)

Chair

Chris Underation

Keywords

Brand Identity, Branding, Christian Ministries, Millennials, Religious Marketing

Disciplines

Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Critical and Cultural Studies | Mass Communication | Organizational Communication | Public Relations and Advertising | Social Influence and Political Communication

Abstract

The purpose of this research study is to discover what branding techniques used by Christian organizations are effective in connecting with Millennials and why, and to determine what are effective branding practices in a religious context. A convergent parallel mixed–method research design was used to gather the data. It included a content analysis of the branding components of four Christian organizations that target Millennials—The Passion Conference, The VOUS Conference, Acquire the Fire and Winterfest. A survey of 150 Millennials of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds within the age range of 18-34 was conducted to collect quantitative data on Millennials’ predispositions about brands, Christian organizations, and Millennial marketing trends. A focus group of five Millennials was held to gather qualitative data on Millennials’ responses to promotional material. Results showed that though these organizations followed in varying degrees what research prescribes as effective branding techniques that connecting with Millennials, they are not guaranteed to resonate with the Millennial target due to diverse factors and individual preference. Ultimately what is effective for religious organizations is to present a clear organizational identity that is unique to them but in ways that are authentic and transparent, about intentions, focus, and values.