When we start on a branding project, one of the first things we usually see is the credit union’s “Mission Statement”. About 99.999% of the time, a committee has very carefully stripped it of any concrete meaning or use and it says the exact same things as every other mission statement.
What I’m more interested in is your Manifesto — what will you fight for?
What will you refuse to do, no matter what? What will you always do, no matter what? What are your principles? What do you care about most? What are the individual manifestos of everyone in the credit union? How do they combine to create the credit union’s culture? What’s in the shared manifesto? What’s written and unwritten?
Of course, credit union people are generally pretty peaceful, so we tend to use the word “risk” instead of “fight” – when’s the last time you took a risk to help a member? Have you ever bent the rules? If you make a bad decision, what happens to you? What happens if you disagree with a decision or policy? Can you change things if they need to be changed? What makes you mad? What makes you joyful?
This is all much more interesting and worthwhile information – in order to discover, define, and amplify those unique, emotional, and true differences (all the components of a great brand) you have to uncover the manifestos. And you have to distill them into a shared manifesto – something everyone can agree they truly care about.