Three key ways to keep your brand promises

Forget past mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. – William Durant (Co-Founder of General Motors and Chevrolet)

Your credit union works hard to keep and exceed the promises you make to consumers. These promises can take many forms, including what you say in your mission and vision statements, tagline, core values and member experience.

A promise is like a vow – a sacred thing. Depending on your age, you may recall a time when “giving your word” wasn’t just a phrase but a way of life. Your word was (and should be) as good (or better) than any legal document. You are bound to your promises by honor and righteousness.

Adidas promises to change lives through sport. Apple promises to think different. Uber promises to move people where they want to go. Members expect your credit union to keep its promises, too.

In a fast-paced, ever-changing and increasingly jaded retail world, you simply cannot afford to fall short of your word as a credit union. So, here are three key ways to ensure you meet and exceed promises to consumers.

  1. Regard your brand promises as lifestyle promises.

Lifestyle brands (examples include Peloton, Tesla, Nike and Starbucks) earn consumer trust by offering more than just products, services and locations. They also offer lifestyles people crave.

This is brand affiliation and consumer loyalty in action.

Note: Just because you “sell” financial products and services does not mean you aren’t a lifestyle brand. Far from it. Your credit union helps people with money and financial goals, which are just as sacred (more so) than indoor bikes, electric cars, shoes and coffee.

  1. Listen to what people are saying about your brand.

This means both consumers (external brand) and your staff (internal brand). Stay on top of the way people feel about your brand by asking and listening.

Whether this takes the form of online surveys, social media reviews or even old-fashioned comment card boxes, pay attention to these voices. They are often the first indication of necessary course-corrections to uphold and deliver your brand promises.


There you have it; three ways to keep your brand promises. Wait…what’s that? The third number is blank? Well, look at that. You’re right – it is blank.

The title promised three, you say? Yep, it sure does. Kind of a bummer to start an article with three key ways promised and only two delivered, isn’t it? But today is Friday. But we are short-staffed this week. But I got so busy with emails that I forgot. But…but…but.

Guess what? Members don’t care about excuses. They care about delivered promises.

There are certainly tough times – days when it’s harder to stick to and deliver on our promises. Absolutely, staffing is a challenge. So are sick days, vacations, CEO changes, core conversions and a host of other very real and very challenging scenarios.

Again, members don’t care about that. What they care about is your credit union’s ability (commitment, really) to keep its word. You, dear reader, also deserve the promised third key way to keep your brand promises, just as your members deserve the best of your word every day. Here’s that third point:

  1. Empathy

More empathy. Empathy squared to the tenth power. You get the idea.

Empathy is foundational to a brand promise. Whatever specific elements your credit union brand promises (speed, friendliness, expertise, experience, etc.), it all comes down to empathy – that ability to genuinely connect with and relate to people.

Your consumers must feel that empathy from you to build trust, loyalty and long-term (and profit-driving) relationships. Put yourself in their shoes and envision how you’d want every interaction to play out.

There they are – three key ways to keep your brand promises. Vow met. But, what about exceeding your promise? What about delivering such a high level of positive experience that your brand rises quickly and noticeably above the din of the competition?

Absolutely! With that in mind, here’s hoping this article meets and exceeds your expectations.

  1. Focus on the benefits.

Your brand promise must subtly and convincingly deliver real-world, substantive benefits. While it’s great to be fast, friendly, community-focused and a host of other things, your brand must be seen and felt as practical and beneficial to your consumers’ lives.

Can you save them time? Can you save them money? Can you save them hassle? Can you help them have fun? How do you quantify these elements in such a way that it paints a picture of positive gains in consumers’ lives?

Focus on the benefits and watch your brand promises bloom.

Brand promises are not simply catchy words or phrases to hang on boardroom walls and post on your website. They are your principles in action, in real-time. Deliver (and exceed) your brand promises not only because they drive important metrics, but because, now more than ever, promises matter.

Taylor Wells

Taylor Wells

Taylor is a veteran of the marketing, public relations, writing, teaching and speaking fields with almost twenty years of experience in a variety of industries. He began his career as ... Web: Details