Brand Repositioning in Uncertain Times

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Brand Repositioning in the Midst of a Record Economic Drop 

Would you characterize your credit union’s response as “survival mode” to the worst drop on record for the U.S. economy? All hands on deck! Behaviors change, systems are abandoned, and your branding and marketing strategy is now in limbo.

The unfortunate truth is many credit unions are letting busyness get in the way of progress. Almost every financial institution has taken a hit. But there are those who have bounced back much faster or even yielded extraordinary results in the first half of this year because they have prioritized what’s important to them and stuck to a practical, flexible framework.

In short…Gritty = Good. Busy = Bad.

As we’ve studied the credit union brands that have raised their performances to new levels, vision drives everything. They recognize that their branding and marketing strategy are undeniably necessary. Why is that exactly? Their credit union brand is at their core, and it influences their people, their thoughts and their actions.

They can beat interruptions and distractions. They can find fulfilment and joy in their work. They can be small and think big. They can be incredibly resourceful even when it’s hard… all because they have a unified culture. Tactics may change, but their strategy remains rock solid.

In today’s economy, now may be the perfect opportunity to reposition your branding and marketing strategy.

What makes your credit union a best place to work? Here’s a hint: It’s not “people helping people.” Every enterprise does that, including the big banks. And if you say it’s your benefits package… have you ever wondered if your staff is sticking around with your credit union for the wrong reasons?

Hiring and keeping the best employees, and ultimately growing your credit union, comes down to motivation, both emotionally and intelligently. It’s living your mission, vision and value proposition every day, from the board room to the C-Suite to the frontlines.

Note Well: This is NOT a challenge for a mission statement memory test. It’s a “heart test” that they understand how they matter to the people they serve, from members to coworkers to leadership. And your internal brand should be seen throughout your company policies, training opportunities and recruitment processes.

If you seek to gain attraction, affiliation and alliance with your members, it cannot happen in a vacuum. Visibility is essential. There are plenty of ways to differentiate and make your mark. Just make sure that the promises you make are the ones you are willing to keep. Case in point: Those credit unions that claim to serve the undeserved, but are too risk averse when presented with the opportunity. Your brand is judged by your words and actions.

What’s at stake for you now more than ever is to become better storytellers. It begins by understanding what’s holding you back now, defining your intentions, and telling a new story that will build momentum internally and externally for many years to come.

What could your brand strategy look like? Fill out the form below to download Flip the Switch, where you can learn how to identify a brand attitude and next level messaging – plus read up on six real examples of brand attitudes that go well beyond “people helping people.”

Need some quick tips to turn your marketing efforts around? Fill out the form to download our Flip the Switch: Develop a Brand Attitude for Your Financial Institution.

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Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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