Branding at UUCM – What’s in a Brand?

From Rev. Anya Sammler-Michael, Senior Co-Minister

 A brand is “a particular identity or image.” Our Congregation has a particular identity but is not always communicated with clarity and consistency. This means that we have an identity, but we don’t showcase a consistent brand. You may notice when you see our various communication platforms – Website, Gazette, Brochures, Order of Service, Facebook, etc. — that they do not look like they were generated by the same institution. This diversity of presentation derives from our congregation’s grassroots ingenuity, but it makes it difficult for us to clearly portray our identity to new as well as existing participants, creating at times, brand and general confusion. We can be a grassroots driven institution with a consistent brand.

With the affirmation and guidance of the Board of Trustees I have convened a “Brand Task Force” to study the identity of our congregation and discern a beautiful and meaningful way to portray that identity in our communication platforms and materials. This is not the first time in our congregation’s history that a group has been convened for this purpose. This is something that congregations need to do every 10 years or so.  This Brand Task Force will meet again on October 29th. Their work at this meeting will revolve around the creation of a “Mood Board” – a graphic design brainstorming tool, co-created by all the participants. Each team member will bring examples of type face, images, words, colors, and symbols to adorn the board. The team will then study the examples, discerning a direction for their branding work.

I am wholly grateful for the team that has gathered to do this work. It’s representation includes long time members, new members, and a youth member. The skills that these team members bring are vast, including arts and aesthetics, graphics, research, creativity, institutional knowledge, an agility with language and more. They evidence a passion for this work, and are determined to meet their goals in a way that will serve our community.

Please join me in celebrating the work and commitment of our Task Force members: Brian Crooks, Jason Fortuna, Michael Hetrick, Nick Lewis, Karen Neilson-Fried, Judith Rew, Jennifer Rittner, and Elena Williams. Brian Crooks is our Board Representative and he will be sharing the team’s work with the Board to receive their constructive feedback. The team will be in communication with the congregation as well. Keep an eye out for opportunities to engage in this process.


The new brand was presented and approved at the 2020 Annual Meeting. Please use the UUCM Brand Style Guide when creating any materials for your UUCM groups and committees.