Should you rebrand? 4 things to consider first

Credit Unions all across the country are embarking on name changes and/or rebrands every year. But is a name change or rebranding right for your credit union? It’s not always the answer to the problem at hand, but more often than not it gives a sense of renewal to the organization, its employees, board, members, and most of all its potential members.

Before rebranding, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is our objective?
  2. How much will it cost to complete the rebrand and/or name change?
  3. How much time does it take to complete a rebrand and/or name change?
  4. Do we need to change more than just our name or brand?

Without goals, most projects tend to lack focus and direction, so before you start a your rebranding project, you need to set some objectives and determine key metrics for measurement. Shifts in awareness and brand recognition, increased products per household, and growth in new membership are just a few indicators of rebranding success.  

Why are you considering a name change or rebrand for your credit union? Are you looking to capture more market share? Reevaluating your core values? Perhaps you’re adding a new location, or simply looking to modernize your identity? Whatever your reason, be sure to include it in your rebranding strategy and tie back to key performance indicators (KPI’s), so that your objectives never get overlooked.

The cost of changing your name and brand will vary for each credit union and should truly be viewed as an investment over time and not a bottom line expense. One that, if done properly, will yield exponential returns over the lifetime of your credit union. The cost can depend on how long your current brand has been around, how much of a departure your new brand will be from your current, how quickly you want to migrate to the new brand, among other variables.

But the bigger question to ask yourself is; What is the cost of not rebranding? If your brand remains status quo, are you able to remain competitive? On the other hand, how much brand equity has your credit union built, and could you harm your reputation by changing your brand?

The length of time required to complete a credit union name change or credit union rebranding project will depend on several factors, but your internal culture and its capacity to handle change may be the most crucial factor. Organizations can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on rebranding their external brand only to have the corporate culture destroy it from the inside out. This should be a thoughtful and strategic process, and is not one to be rushed.

Rebranding is not only a financial investment, but also an investment in time and can take anywhere from 12-18+ months. For one of our credit union clients, it involved two months of research, three months of creative development, six months of execution and four months for internal launch. Achieving the much-anticipated shift in brand culture can take up to 3 years beyond the launch of any new brand.

As credit unions seek to redefine themselves in the marketplace, there are many things to consider, the first of which is whether or not rebranding is in order. Be sure to understand your objectives, treat rebranding as a long-term investment, develop key performance indicators, think BIG and most importantly, embrace the change!

Still not sure if it’s time to rebrand? Click here to request a short brand evaluation.

Hilary Reed

Hilary Reed

Hilary Reed, founder of EmpowerFi, is an innovative thought-leader who has been involved in various aspects of strategic sales and marketing for 15 years. Her career began in 2000 when ... Web: Details