Inside Marketing: Staying true to the mission while adopting new engagement tools

Even while leveraging AI, contests and partnerships, LAFCU hasn’t forgotten how it started or who it serves.

The path to successful marketing lies in understanding your identity and the people you serve. $1 billion LAFCU, Lansing, Michigan, has earned national recognition for its ability to discern this. Yet the trust the credit union has built within its community is far greater than any kudos given by industry peers, setting it apart from the competition.

Stay true to your mission

“Identifying marketing trends and expanding technologies is important, as they offer fresh insights into changing member behaviors and desires,” says CUES member Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU’s CMO and chief diversity officer. “However, remaining authentic is crucial amidst technology adoption. By staying true to yourself, you can positively impact others while adapting to new possibilities.”

This deep understanding lies at the heart of the credit union’s marketing. “We were founded by a group of automakers in 1936,” reflects Ellsworth Etchison. “Our roots are deeply blue-collar, and much of our membership remains middle-class. Knowing who created LAFCU and recognizing whom we serve means we can market products and services that address our members’ needs. Conversely, trying to be everything to everybody can be counterproductive and hurt your brand.”


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