Give Your Credit Union Brand Some Credit

July 12, 2023

Why your best tool in credit union marketing is your brand

We won’t sugarcoat it: Credit unions need a strong brand strategy to stand out in today’s crowded financial landscape. There are only so many products, rates, and reward programs out there, and they’re easy for competitors to duplicate. Whereas positioning yourself with rates turns your value prop into a commodity, a strong brand can elevate your offering beyond products and programs. Best of all, it can help you stand out in a crowded market, build trust with your members, and increase loyalty and advocacy.

Why is brand storytelling so important for credit unions?

  • Differentiation: A well-defined brand can help potential members understand what sets you apart from other financial institutions. You will attract members who share your values and beliefs, and who are looking for a financial community that aligns with their own.
  • Brand Equity: The last thing you want to do as a credit union marketer is get into a shouting match with a well-funded, national bank with advertising spending power. When your brand carries meaning, however, it can make marketing programs more efficient because your brand itself can do the heavy lifting of storytelling.
  • Member Loyalty: A strong brand can help build trust and loyalty with your members. By consistently delivering on your brand promises and creating a positive member experience, you can create loyal members who will continue to use your services and recommend you to others.

How do you develop a brand strategy?

We can’t give all our secrets away, but as a brand-first marketing agency that specializes in driving credit union member growth and loyalty, we are the brand strategy experts among credit union marketing agencies. Through our proven brand strategy process, we’ve worked on more than 200 brands in our 20+ years of operations, and when you begin working with us, we can take you through the exciting, defining, and extremely enlightening process more fully.

For purposes of this educational blog, however, we will skip to the nuts and bolts of brand strategy: authenticity and distinction.

  • Be Authentic

    We would never (ever!) recommend building a credit union brand strategy that doesn’t align with your own values and beliefs, so it’s recommended that you start there. Who are you as people, who are your members, what are the values and beliefs that tie all of you together? What is in your credit union’s DNA that your members love about you? The answers to these questions will help you tell your story authentically, but just as important is the distinction among your competitors.

  • Stand Out

    Distinction and differentiation give you an opportunity to really plant your flag in the ground. What is something that ONLY we can say, compared to our competitors? Why would someone choose us over our peers? What makes us so darn special? Are there opportunities or gaps that these values create when compared to your competitors? Do those gaps align with your target audiences? Once you’ve identified these gaps, you can create unique value propositions and plan how to effectively message to those gaps. When you can tie together authenticity and distinction, the next step is landing on your brand tone and voice. Yes, we have our message, but how should we sound when we say it?

    Your brand voice is the tone and personality that you use when communicating with your audience. This should be consistent across all your messaging, including website copy, social media posts, and advertising. You should aim to connect, and it’s OK, even encouraged, to be human.

  • Show Up

    Finally, we move to brand activation. It’s time to develop a credit union marketing strategy founded on creating a brand experience that meets member needs. This involves understanding the credit union member journey and delivering a seamless and personalized experience that builds loyalty and advocacy.

By creating a strong brand that resonates with your target audience, you can differentiate yourself from your competitors and build trust with your members. A branding and marketing agency can help guide you through the branding process and ensure that your credit union’s values, mission, and vision are reflected in your brand and how you present yourself.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your credit union build a strong brand that stands out in the crowded financial landscape.


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