by: Randy Schultz, VP Marketing, Weber Marketing Group
Why would anyone be confused as to what a credit union actually is – or what we do – when comparing us to a “bank”? I mean it’s perfectly clear, right? Or maybe not so much. How do we learn to differentiate ourselves without confusing the average consumer?
Certainly being more public with our basic message makes sense – telling people who we are, explaining to them that we aren’t part of that telephone company, university, or a technology giant. Oh yes, you can join – we’re a community-chartered, not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution. You know, like a bank, but not really a bank. Wow. Do we ever stop and listen to ourselves? Is more marketing really the answer? Or is a more defined strategy and approach to who we want to be before we continue our marketing the real answer?
You may have noticed that, sometimes, when a credit union changes its logo or name, the words “credit union” seem to have all but disappeared off of their signage. Has credit union been replaced with “financial,” because everyone knows what that is? Are the words “credit union” disappearing altogether?
And how can we ever think about doing a national brand campaign when we can’t figure out what to call ourselves and the message we should all be using to increase awareness and profitability? Don’t even get me started on that one.
If you’re looking for the answers here to all of these questions – you might as well stop reading at the end of this sentence. If you’re still reading, great! I’d never pretend to know all the answers, but I can certainly ask you the right questions based on your situation that will help you define who you want to be to your members, to potential members, and the communities of which you are a vital part. As someone who wants to keep this movement (or industry) part of the solution to today’s economic situation, you owe it to yourself to try to discover as many answers to these questions as possible before continuing down the path you’re on. And if you’ve figured out the answers – share them will ya!
Randy Schultz, VP Marketing, Weber Marketing Group
Having worked as a marketing vice president, advertising agency principal and creative director has kept Randy uniquely focused on creating leading edge solutions within the credit union industry. Along with his work leading renaming and rebranding projects at Weber. His interactive presentation style with conference and workshop attendees continues to make him a sought-after speaker for organizations like CUES, CUNA, Marketing Assoc. of Credit Unions (MAC), the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions and numerous councils from coast to coast. Randy can be reached at email@example.com. www.webermarketing.com