Several Christian Organizations Undergo Name Changes and Regularly Revise Their Identities to Remain Relevant

David C Cook

The Ten Commandments forbid the making of graven images, but a compelling corporate image is considered essential by Christian organizations seeking to survive and thrive.

In rare cases, ministries completely change their names. Last week, Colorado Springs-based HCJB Global, which was founded in 1931, announced that it is changing its name to Reach Beyond.

Most of the time, Christian organizations revise their identities by updating their logos or by changing their slogans.

David C Cook, a major Christian publishing house that was founded in 1875, changed its name to Cook Communications Ministries in 1994 following a series of acquisitions. But after a 2007 leadership transition, the company returned to the David C Cook name.

Designer Thom Hoyman has been helping to tweak Cook’s image ever since. The “Who’s Dave?” campaign summarizes and humanizes the company, which is little understood by millions of people around the world who use its resources. Even its local employees have struggled to articulate its work clearly.

Cook, which moved to the Springs in 1995, is a big company, selling $80 million worth of resources a year from its three major divisions: curriculum published in 150 languages for churches and Sunday schools; books on Christian living by authors such as best-seller Francis Chan; and music that includes Integrity Music, one of the world’s larger Christian labels.

“When you have too many identities, you have no identity,” said Hoyman in a recent presentation about the long-running rebranding project.

The company’s new slogan, “Transforming lives together,” was partially inspired by campaigns for The Home Depot and Lowe’s.

“We see ourselves as a partner, not a peddler,” Hoyman said.

The “Who’s Dave” campaign explains that unlike many local nonprofit ministries, Cook is a for-profit company that uses profits to support a non-profit foundation that works around the world. CEO Cris Doornbos said Cook will donate $5 million to its foundation this year.

Hoyman’s campaign explains this complex arrangement with an illustration about hybrid cars that run on both gasoline and electricity.

“This is part of what really inspires me to work for David C Cook,” Hoyman said. “I love the fact that I work for a company that sells to the rich so it can give to the poor!”

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SOURCE: The Gazette
Steve Rabey