Credit Union Branding, Identity, and Differentiation
WHAT WE DO: Renaming • Rebranding • Logos & Identities • Member & Staff Surveys • Stationery • Collateral • Signage • Brand Manual • Brand Launch • Brand Marketing • Branch Interiors
Our team can help you rediscover your credit union’s true brand and help you learn to communicate and live the brand. Whether you need a complete rebrand or just a branding facelift, we’ll work with you to establish a process and a plan that addresses your credit union’s unique challenges.
There are three stages in our process: Discovery, Strategy, and Implementation:
What truly sets you apart from your competition? Discovery involves getting to know the unvarnished truth about your credit union, your emotional connection to your members, and the things that truly set your credit union apart from your competition. Components may include:
• On-location Immersion – Our team will spend a few days at your credit union to learn the culture, interview key staff, and gather as much information as possible in order identify strengths, reveal weaknesses, and find out what is truly unique. This process also allows staff, executives and Board members the opportunity to be heard, and the reality of seeing themselves in the final video helps everyone understand that they are an important part of the process from the very beginning.
• Staff, Member and Non-member Research – During the Immersion process, our team can also conduct in-person surveys or manage focus groups. We also offer a unique online focus group process that provides vital emotional intelligence about the feelings and values that motivate staff, members, and potential members. Since they are anonymous, CUCheck Online Focus Groups often provide insights that won’t be shared in traditional in-person surveys or focus groups.
• Analysis of Current/Past Marketing and Branding – A comprehensive review of all available marketing and branding materials, rationales, strategy, planning, and results to identify any changes or updates needed and to spot elements that are working well.
• Market Area and Competition Analysis – Understanding the unique aspects of the local environment and economy, and competition (especially local and regional banks).
• Executive Team Presentation – We will articulate a clear shared understanding of your credit union’s unique core values, as well as a unique and true emotional connection to your members – a Central Emotional Message.
How to connect the dots and improve results. In the Strategy phase, we match unique core values and messages identified in the Discovery phase with existing and potential target markets, and explore ways to connect to each of these different audiences.
The strategy phase is also where we work with you to choose short, medium, and long-term goals for each niche, and then develop concrete strategies for specific emotional messages, product recommendations, and financial goals for each. Components may include:
Brand Strategy – How will you “live the brand”? A brand strategy outlines how everyone at the credit union puts your brand into action, every day, with every decision and every interaction. It’s also a road map for brand improvement. What are your long-term brand goals? How will you evaluate and re-evaluate your brand’s impact and authenticity as time goes on?
Communication Strategy – We provide a communication strategy to keep both staff and members appraised of current and future steps. With regular communication throughout, and transparency about the goals of the process, we allow everyone to be heard and give input, thereby increasing existing staff participation and member retention.
Marketing Strategy – This generally includes recommendations for several potential target audiences, along with goals, topics for further study, and product and marketing strategies for each target market.
Renaming Strategy – Updating your name may be the best way to position your credit union for future growth. However, building support for renaming may be difficult without first getting input from the Board, staff and members. We can work with you to make sure everyone understands why a name change would help the credit union grow, plus give them the chance to voice their opinions and offer suggestions/be part of the process. Initial trademark and competition searches are a necessary component before beginning any legal trademark applications.
Now for the fun part. This is where the brand starts to drive growth. Now that everyone understands the brand and everyone has a handle on the values, audiences, emotional messages and the short-term and long-term strategies, it’s time to start making it all come true. With a rock-solid strategic foundation in place, we stir in world-class creative and design talent. Great marketing is always built on a deep understanding of a brand, the target audiences, and the messages tailored for those audiences. Components may include:
Logo, Colors, Typography • Tagline Development • Employee Brand Manual • Public Brand Launch Campaign • Stationery • Brochures & Marketing Materials• Credit and Debit Cards • Web Site Redesign • Signage • Branch Lobby Interiors • Space Planning • Brand Checkups • Growth Marketing