The One About Jehovah Witnesses

Covenant Chimnonso
4 min readJul 17, 2020

For this one, I travelled down memory lane.

For lack of a better image…

We all have stories and experience about and with Jehovah’s witnesses. My memories of them are fond, funny, and thrilling.

I remember myself as a teenager who looked forward to their Saturday visits because of the Watchtower and Awake pamphlets they often shared with me. I remember growing up thinking that, despite the fact that my parents were against their doctrines, they had such a beautiful way of sharing the gospel. The brand was it for me.

As a denomination of over 8 million active followers worldwide, Jehovah Witnesses are some of the best storytellers and have one of the strongest, most impressive brand designs in organised religion in this part of the world. A few years ago, I wrote an article about what business owners and brand strategists could learn from these guys about brand design and communication.

In this publication, I would like to revisit this topic because let’s face it, you haven’t read it yet. This time, in a more refined way than what I wrote years ago.

Every strong brand is identified by a strong brand image

Ever thought to yourself why Jehovah’s Witnesses are so distinct? This is one of the many dilemmas that plagued my early adulthood. Why are these guys so easy to identify? What is it about them that makes it easy for people to spot them out miles away?

The answer is simple; the way they dress, the things they generally carry about, and the way they compose themselves. I don’t remember ever seeing a Jehovah’s Witness without an umbrella or leather bag. It is the one thing we used to identify them as kids, and I realize that even now, it is still one of the things that stand them out from the crowd.

Think of every time you have noticed a Nike product and ask yourself what made you realize that that product was a Nike. The swish that is Nike’s logo is easily the most recognizable thing about the brand. Before people start considering the quality of a shoe or pair of shorts, they first consider the fact that it has that swish.

It is the same for Coca-Cola, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and all the many other brands that we generally regard as powerful brands. And, they all started out just tweaking and tweaking until they hit the mark that defines their mission and established their presence.

The stories a brand communicates are important

I have mentioned earlier how the stories that Jehovah’s Witnesses told in their pamphlets drew me to them and sparked my curiosity so much that I’d often ambush them just to collect pamphlets. Those stories formed much of my view of the world at the time and gave me a balanced idea of the denomination itself.

With stories, brands can either make or mar themselves. Think of the stories that form around Nike and how those stories influence the perception of the brand. The same goes for Apple products and Microsoft, and Amazon, and Coca-Cola.

Everywhere you hear these stories, you are struck by the profundity of the narrative itself and the emotions they conjure. Stories are important. Whether you are building a new brand from scratch or reviving an old, dying one, the stories you tell are very important in shaping the perception of that brand.

It is important to believe in the ambitions of your brand

One thing I appreciate the most about Jehovah’s Witnesses is how despite all the ostracization they suffer from the general Christian community, they continue to go from street to street, sharing their gospel. The resilience with which they believe in their message is something business owners and brand managers need to learn.

What does belief do for the brand anyways? Well, belief helps shape expectations and eliminate mediocrity. People who believe that their business or idea is capable of reaching 100,000,000 users will not relent at just 100,000. They will keep pursuing and reinventing until they can reach that mark. They will go above and beyond to meet that mark and surpass it even. That is what belief does for a brand.

The stories of Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and many other business leaders around the world show just how realistic this point is. It is important that the belief is based on actual data or any resemblance of it, but it is even more important for the belief to be there.

Be fanatic about your branding

When it comes to maintaining the brand image of their denomination, Jehovah’s Witnesses can be regarded as fanatical. They will do anything to reinforce their visual representations. They never go out to preach without their umbrellas and they would always go in groups. These are small things that influence how people see them and make it easier for people to recognize them.

Every business person needs to understand that some level of fanaticism is needed for your brand to survive. You have to be fanatical about how your brand is communicated by everyone. Every messaging should contain all relevant images, references, or identity markers that establish their brand image in the mind of everyone that comes across it.

Think of how Facebook acquired WhatsApp and Instagram and redesigned the interface to indicate that they now owned these platforms. It may seem like a casual thing, but it is constantly reinforcing that idea in your head every time you log on to any of those platforms. It is that simple.

It is the same with all the top brands out there and all brands looking to achieve top status.

I hope you found this article relevant. If you did, kindly share it with a friend who you are sure will appreciate it. Also, you can send me a mail if you need to discuss anything about creating a brand image for your business.

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Covenant Chimnonso

Multidimensional storyteller. Documenting where it matters. Traveller, not tourist.