What Makes A Great Credit Union Brand?

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A class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer or a characteristic or distinctive kind. That’s the tired definition of brand from Merriam-Webster.

That’s fine, and any credit union leader reading this will be glad to know your credit union brand is most likely fulfilling at least that definition of brand.

Here’s what makes a great brand: It should live as a character in the minds of customers, like the fictional characters that make great novels, television shows and movies, well, great.

If you feel connected to a brand, it’s because that brand represents something you believe in.

Most people can claim at least one brand they feel passionately about for that very reason.

Credit union brands don’t often fall into that bucket. We remain a commodity that may edge out the competition on an adequate level of service or convenience.

If you’ve recently pondered whether your credit union brand needs some clarity, or maybe a refresh, here are three things an expert brand consultant will do for you:

  1. Identify the characteristics of your credit union brand. It’s quite possible that you never intended your brand to have the characteristics that it currently does, yet there they are. The best brand consultants want to answer the question, “What makes this brand think, speak, act and see the world the way it does?”
  2. Amplify those characteristics to live a distinct brand personality. We do not bond with products or services that lack personality.
  3. Craft your credit union marketing messages to reflect the brand’s personality. Doing so will accelerate your credit union marketing efficiency and bolster member growth to a whole new level.

How did your current credit union brand get to where it is? It’s a reflection of the leadership and the person in charge of marketing. Good or bad, it is what it is.

If you consider the YMC brand you will note hints of John Legere and Ed Stack, leaders that I have studied closely and learned from.

I recently examined several credit union brands and have found that their brands reflect their CEOs’ personalities as well. One, a former client that underwent a CEO change about a decade ago, has become very quiet and conservative – a slow evolution since his becoming CEO.

I share these tidbits to help credit union leaders identify how your current credit union brand truly became your current brand. If you don’t like what your credit union brand has become – or more importantly, your members and potential members aren’t responding to it – Your Marketing Co.’s proven and experienced team can help identify your credit union’s brand using an outsider’s perspective, amplify its characteristics to stand out and craft your credit union marketing to match and help you grow.

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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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