The Fallacious Brand Philosophy

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Light heart photography in the dark

I don’t pretend to be as eloquent a writer as the late George Carlin, but as someone who is in the credit union branding space, I’m certainly mindful of his “Advertising Lullaby.” If you’ve never heard it, it is incredibly witty bit about advertising speak – just note it gets a bit raunchy in the end (no pun intended).

Are you lulling your members to sleep with suggestions of helping people realize their dreams with excellent customer service from a dedicated local team backed by a trusted, sound financial institution? Perhaps I just recited your mission statement – one in which no one knows, understands, follows or lives by within your organization.

The truth is when we examine credit union brands that have seen the greatest success, they realize that trust, security and customer service should be a given within any financial organization. These are the expectations of every consumer. But before you point to the annual statistics about how people really hate their financial institutions, let me remind you of how deposits rose by more than 8% last year as reported by the Federal Reserve.

So, is it love or hate? Or could it be conditional love where tough times bring us together?

Trust, security and customer service are not exactly sexy. They do not teach, entertain or inspire. There has to be a better story for your credit union.

How about we replace trust with integrity. Integrity is more of an action that comes from within. It’s a commitment that your credit union brand will be steadfast in doing what is in the best interest of its members.

Instead of advocating security, replace that with convenience. The desire for less cost and lower risk goes hand-in-hand with being intuitive and easy to use. When we speak of security, it’s a grueling conversation. Instead, when we focus on simple solutions that take less time and effort, we free ourselves up to have deeper connections with our members. Convenience is about getting to the heart of our members’ stories.

Finally, instead of focusing on customer service, let’s find originality. Good, bad or ugly, every organization has customer service. Most aim for member “satisfaction” rather than “loyalty.” However, when we look at things through the lens or originality, it’s all about leaving a mark. It’s about being authentic.  It’s about taking what was once ordinary and making something extraordinary.

We don’t buy things based on logic, nor do we buy things based on features or benefits alone. Our human condition yearns for something much more. A connection. A feeling. A belief. In many ways, your credit union is not in the financial business, but rather the aspiration business.

What Story Are You Telling?

What do you want members to know and believe about your credit union? Our job is to help you uncover your story and tell it to the world. From brand development to full rebrands, we’re here to help you find your voice in a crowded marketplace.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

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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