Becoming a Brand Advocate For Your Credit Union

Note: This piece first appeared in the Credit Union Association of New York’s quarterly magazine Connection.

As Michael Eisner, former CEO of Disney, once said, “A brand is a living entity—and it is enriched or undermined cumulatively over time, the product of a thousand small gestures.”

Branding continues to be a hot-button topic in marketing circles. It’s still a vitally important element for the credit union industry to consider as it moves forward. However, in order for branding to succeed, we have to understand what branding is and does. We must also commit to serving our credit unions as brand advocates.

What is Branding?

That’s really the $64,000 question. You’re going to get a lot of different answers from a lot of credible sources. Entrepreneur says branding is: “The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products.” Business Dictionary says branding is: “The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme.”

Wendy Meola, Director of Marketing with Community Resource Federal Credit Union in Latham, New York says “Branding is essential to credit unions. Credit union marketers need to figure out what their niche is in the market place so they can effectively market themselves and attract new members for future growth. If they do not, they are surely wasting marketing dollars by advertising blindly.”

continue reading »