EmpowerFi™

Credit Union Branding: Finding Your Identity

As financial marketers, it’s important to understand the branding process and the value of a strong brand identity. It’s not just choosing a beautiful logo – your brand is your personality and marketing brings it to life!

A brand makes an organization relatable – and established properly, it can communicate a clear story of purpose and values.

As financial marketers, it’s important to understand the branding process and the value of a strong brand identity. It’s not just choosing a beautiful logo – your brand is your personality and marketing brings it to life!

A brand makes an organization relatable – and established properly, it can communicate a clear story of purpose and values.

 

Your identity

A well-developed brand highlights your credit union’s personality, promoting trust, credibility and consistency. Before creating an authentic brand identity, it’s important to identify your organization’s mission and purpose – your ‘why.’

Start by considering what services you offer to your audiences, what problems you tackle for your members, and most importantly, why it is important to you and your organization are known for these things. By understanding the purpose and values of your credit union, you can begin to build the foundation of your brand identity.

Interestingly, 64% of consumers stated that ‘values’ are the reason they choose to remain loyal to a brand (Harvard Business Review). Establishing an authentic purpose and values for your brand, enables you to foster an identity that members can connect with and choose to stay loyal to.

 

Brand positioning

Positioning your brand effectively ensures you are reaching the right audience in the marketplace. A youthful, offbeat brand is more likely to appeal to a younger audience, whereas a more conservative brand could be more relatable to mature members. By positioning your brand effectively, you can focus on those that share your values, and set yourself apart from the competition.

So how do you effectively position your brand? Analyze your audience and identify your competition through extensive market research. Learn what your members need and want, and evaluate what your competitors are offering – and what they aren’t. Use this research to find your position, meet a need that your competitors aren’t able to, and find a gap in the market that allows your brand shine.

By truly understanding where your brand sits in the marketplace, you can focus on the right target audience, without your message getting confused. Create personas based on data from your members to explore your shared values and clarify your brand positioning.

 

Focus on what you do best

Have you ever considered why your members trust you over a competitor? What defining values distinguish your credit union? Understanding what makes you different is key to creating a successful brand that brings loyal members.

A 2020 study found that one third of branding experts selected user experience as the most important brand differentiator, even more so than price and product (Walker). This truly highlights the value of focusing on the consumer journey and member experience. Use research and data analysis to support your brand development, and to ensure you are offering what your members need and want.

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to please everyone – focus on your members and what you do best for them. Identify the qualities, culture and services that are unique to you, and emphasize what you are offering that sets you apart. Be genuine, authentic and human, and showcase your personality, purpose and values with a relatable and credible brand.

 

Consistency is key

You’ve established your identity, position and differentiator – now, trust in your brand and stick with it. Consistency not only makes your brand recognizable, but it also establishes a dependable approach for every interaction with each member. Consistency is key to promoting a clear brand message that attracts the perfect prospects and sustains loyalty.

But it’s not just about facing outwards – keep in mind what’s going on within your organization too. A consistent company culture allows your employees to feel a part of something, and ‘buy-in’ to who you are and what you do. You want your team to not only understand the brand, but to feel proud to represent your organization’s values and purpose.

For your organization to work together effectively on your brand, it’s crucial to ensure you are providing the tools to maintain consistency. A simple brand guide provides clear rules that set out the brand style, tone of voice and personality. Despite this, Lucidpress found a surprising 26% of participants were unable to easily access their organization’s brand guidelines – and without this it’s almost impossible to maintain brand consistency across your organization.

 

Grow with your brand

Lucidpress estimates that presenting your brand consistently can increase revenue by around 33%. It can take six to eight brand touches on average for someone to recognize your brand or to even respond to your call to action. Consistency and authenticity is important to successfully attracting prospects and establishing loyalty to your brand.

Organizations that prioritize their brand often benefit from a higher rate of growth and brand awareness. A strong brand identity is credible, consistent, and unique, backed by research to ensure its values and position are relevant to the audience.

 

Brand ReFiTM by EmpowerFiTM can support with developing all things to do with branding, from core values and value proposition to cultural position and brand story. Schedule a one-on-one brand consultation here.

Blog Category

Branding

Service Type

Brand ReFi™

Branding Services

EmpowerFi specializes in creating new brand identities, and revitalizing sluggish branding

Written by:

KELLY HELLICKSON

PRESIDENT | CXO

Fun Fact

Hilary currently lives in a Philadelphia suburb with her two children who are 13 and 18. They all enjoy traveling the world and most recently traveled to Bermuda, Bahamas, Malibu, San Diego, Key West and Iceland.