You’ve seen products on store shelves that look like they have for the last 20, 30, even 50 years. They’re dusty, and a bit worn around the edges or label because they keep getting shoved around the shelves instead of taken home.
Unfortunately, your credit union’s brand may be looking a lot like that dusty, battered box.
Because a credit union’s brand — both the visual appearance and the emotional connections that people have with you — can get old and stale, especially if it’s never been updated. The audience that first connected to the brand when it started all those years ago isn’t the same audience the brand needs to attract now in order to grow.
Some brands just need a makeover, a new look, and a relaunch campaign to be successful once again. But others are so far past their expiration date that the best thing to do is to start over.
How do you know whether your brand needs a new label, or a full repackaging?
You should certainly relabel when:
- Your image looks and feels dated, compared to your competition
- Your staff likes their job but has no real emotional connection to your brand
- Most of your Field of Membership is only vaguely aware that you offer more than car loans and Christmas Clubs
You should definitely repackage when:
- Potential members confuse your name with another financial institution or business
- It takes more than 5 seconds to explain who you are to a potential new member
- People still think you have to work at the original SEG in order to join
Still aren’t sure? Here are three more questions to ponder:
Who is your competition in your market, and how do you stack up?
Analysts are predicting that future growth will only happen through taking market share away from your competition. Make a list of all of the banks and credit unions in your area that are bigger or close to your size. Include their asset size and share of market (your local Chamber of Commerce might be able to help) and compare it to yours. Are you the 800# gorilla with 30%+ of your market, or the mouse in the bushes with less than 3%? Gorillas still need to be freshened up once in awhile. Mice generally need to think bigger.
Has your field of membership grown beyond your name?
If your CU is still strongly connected to the original Select Employer Group, there’s a natural reluctance to move away from the name. You probably just need a new label. (Unless the original SEG has asked you to remove their name from yours – then it’s definitely time to repackage.)
If your Field of Membership has moved beyond the original SEG to the community, and less than 5% of the FOM is actually employed by that SEG, it’s time to pick potential over history. Repackage. Quickly.
Market research firm Neilsen predicts that by 2030 the majority of workers will be free agents, as companies start hiring more teams for projects rather than employees for careers. Community credit unions have an advantage here, since your future members will come from people with similar addresses, interests and activities, more than vocations.
Dig deep and ask yourself which is more important: keeping today’s long-time members and their deposits, or bringing in tomorrow’s new members with more borrowing potential?
Take a look at the profitability of your membership by age and product use. Sure, your long-time members got you here, but how many of those use the credit union as their PFI? How many of them have anything more than certificates? Are your prime borrowing members (in their 40s and 50s) pulling their weight to offset all those deposits? If not, then a new label could work wonders to boost your image with today’s borrowers.
Now think ahead. Neilsen also predicts that by 2030 one-third of all households will be headed by a person over 65. So the odds are that you won’t have to worry about deposits for a long, long time. But you will always need loans. And those prime borrowing members in their 40s and 50s are currently in their 20s and 30s today. If you plan to move your product off the shelves in the future, you may need to repackage in order to attract those younger members.