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Does Your Credit Union Know Its “Why!”

How to revive a bland brand.

Commercials are fast-forwarded; telemarketing calls get blocked; newspapers are no longer widely read; direct mail gets tossed in the trash before it’s even opened; emails are blocked by spam filters. Potential members are not as engaged with your institution as they once were. But what cuts through all of that? Your brand. It’s the why behind everything you do. And now, more than ever, consumers led by Millennials care about your brand and desire a deeper connection to it; they want to know why you do the things you do.

It can be difficult to identify and understand the key aspects of brand renovation if you don’t live in that space. It’s like trying to explain the taste of water. This can create a disconnect between a brand and your rationale for rebranding. We usually find this as the result of organizations choosing a new logo or tagline and then trying to get their company to fit that mold. That can leave a new brand feeling wrong side up.

The order in which you organically navigate through a rebrand is crucial to its success. Here are three key aspects of the process:


Identify specifically in what your credit union believes and why you do what you do.


Determine what you want your organization to be to your members and community. I.e., your brand essence.


Almost every credit union believes it has great products and services, which does little to differentiate you from competitors. Instead, find the thing that makes your organization truly different from all others. The thing it stands for above all else. Is it that fun, positive culture? The ability to provide versatile solutions? Maybe it’s your trustworthiness and reliability?

Before you can get the public to buy into the new you, however, the people inside your four walls need to believe it and be prepared to live it every day. The key to a successful rebrand is making sure that the new look is an outward extension of what your credit union believes.

Recently, we worked with Mazuma Credit Union. Here’s what happened:

What started out as a newfound fun culture with a blank slate was turning into a member experience-centric environment with a quirky personality. How you ask?

Well, while fun was contagiously being spread through the team (in the form of flash mobs, hair shaving contests, switching out handshakes for fist-bumps), we got to work on developing a new brand personality to match.

It became of upmost importance for Mazumans to work hard AND play hard, allowing their members to truly bank happy (their brand essence).

When undertaking a rebrand, try not to fixate on your new colors and logo. Rather, start an open and honest internal discussion about why you do what you do and who you want to be to your community and members. This will lead you to the creative fun stuff, naturally. It’s what Mazuma did.

With the inspiration of Mazuma, we were able to bring their essence of being to life. See for yourself at mazuma.org.

Author And Company Bio

Kat Anstine is the Agency Director of BYM Agency. She has experience in all areas of marketing and advertising and developed a holistic approach to identifying growth opportunities and building ROI-based strategies for credit unions and CUSO. She can be reached at 888.908.5331

BYM Agency, formally known as Beyond Marketing, is the nation’s first full-service marketing CUSO. National in scope, we identify trends and share success as part of our cooperative business model. We believe in authenticity, engagement and our team has an unstoppable drive to develop memorable creative with measurable results.Reach by phone at 913.541.1255 or online at www.bymagency.com

This article is sponsored by a recognized solutions provider in the credit union industry. Callahan & Associates does not endorse vendors or the solutions they offer, and the views and opinions offered here might not reflect those of Callahan. If you are interested in contributing an article on CreditUnions.com, please contact the Callahan team at ads@creditunions.com or 1-800-446-7453.
July 28, 2014

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