EmpowerFi™

Using Strategy & Data to Shape Your Brand Identity

Establishing a successful brand for your financial institution can help you stand out from fellow credit unions, allowing you to develop a connection with your audience as well as with your employees.

You only get one go at making a first impression – so, make sure it counts! Create a brand that will stick with people, building authenticity and showcasing who you truly are.

Establishing a successful brand for your financial institution can help you stand out from fellow credit unions, allowing you to develop a connection with your audience as well as with your employees.

You only get one go at making a first impression – so, make sure it counts! Create a brand that will stick with people, building authenticity and showcasing who you truly are.

To be successful, your brand needs to develop a genuine connection with its audience. Let’s have a look at how to build a brand that truly resonates with your members.

 

Not just a pretty logo

Branding isn’t just about creating an eye-catching logo, picking complementary colors, and selecting a unique typeface. It’s so much more than that.

Your brand is your culture, your voice, and your values. Your brand represents the relationship your credit union has with its members.

Your brand represents the interactions, thoughts, and feelings of your organization, and shows how you will make a difference to people’s lives. How can you engage with your members in a way that they can identify with?

Establishing a strong brand identity and core values will help foster your brand’s culture. These values will help shape your organizational mission and vision and enable your employees to understand what they are working towards. A successful brand tells a clear story.

A 15-year-study that formed the basis for the book ‘Firms of Endearment’ discovered that businesses with a clearly defined purpose outperformed the market 14-to-1 compared to businesses that lacked direction.

 

Strong strategy

Your brand should be sharing a consistent message about your core purpose because your purpose is first and foremost about the impact you intend to have on the world.

You need to understand where you’re going before you can create an effective brand strategy. This empowers your employees to live and breathe your organization’s purpose and vision and helps them to understand the ‘entire picture’ of your brand strategy.

But there’s more – a simple mistake when developing a brand strategy is missing the difference between ‘strategy’ and ‘goals.’ While it’s key to have an end goal to provide your organization’s direction, it’s equally important to create a plan to get you there.

A thorough brand strategy embeds itself in the organization from right at the top with critical corporate decisions, down to the smallest projects needed to make your intended impact a reality.

By understanding the impact you want your brand to have, you can build out the actionable steps to guide your team to embrace and encompass the brand.

 

Stand out from the crowd

It can take six or seven brand touches before an individual begins to recognize your brand. Human connections and interactions are more meaningful than digital marketing spam on your social media channels.

In order to develop a brand that your audience will invest in and stay loyal to, you need authenticity. You need to show your members that you are genuine and worthy of their time and business.

By differentiating what you offer, you set yourself apart from the competition. If not, you risk your audience losing sight of what makes you unique by mirroring another competitor too closely.

Don’t fall into the trap of trying to be everything to everyone – focus on your key messaging and stick by it.

 

Make your data work

Effective credit union brands are shaped by data, providing insight into their members – what their needs are and how you can support them. If you don’t understand what makes your audience tick, how can you establish a brand that they can authentically connect with?

These days, audiences are more likely to expect personalized services – anything less comes across as too generic. With data already in your reach, you can create personalized services for authentic and positive interactions.

Did they open your latest e-newsletter? What links did they visit? What in-branch services did they engage with last month? Harness your data to record these small interactions, and then adapt your brand messaging in a tailored and insightful way.

Credit unions have access to a huge amount of data from members and their behaviors. If you’re not already, start tracking engagement, analyzing ad success, and testing what is and isn’t working in-branch and online. Use your member data to understand what makes your members unique.

This understanding of your members will not only help keep your members happy but also attract more prospective members, by offering an authentic brand that meets their needs.

 

Immersive branding

Defining your business aims and objectives has many benefits – commercially they can guide your business to outperform competitors. Build your brand around your aims and objectives and fully immerse your brand into your whole organization.

While your brand may have been developed by the marketing team, it needs everyone from across the organization to engage and believe in the brand for it to be effective. Whenever your employees or audience engages with your organization, your brand needs to have shaped that interaction. An immersive brand provides a consistent organizational and member experience.

Effective branding creates the circumstances that set your credit union apart from your competition. Showcase your values, your purpose, what makes you different (and better) through your brand, and demonstrate how valued your employees, members and future members are to you.

Want to know more? Our Brand ReFi™ services help financial institutions create vibrant brands and develop everything from core values to cultural positioning as well as your brand story.

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.