A common mistake that many organizations make is thinking that their logo, their name, and their taglines are their brand.
This isn’t true.
Your brand is what you stand for and how you stand out. It’s the experience the market trusts you to deliver.
If you simply take your logo and taglines and paste them everywhere, you’ve failed to truly activate your brand.
The automobile industry has great examples of companies living their brand. Volvo’s brand promise is safety, Tesla’s is technology innovation, and Subaru’s is the rugged outdoors.
These companies didn’t just create a brand, they activated it in a way that’s practical, functional, and emotional. It shapes the way they operate and innovate, and the products they develop. Volvo isn’t going to make a car that doesn’t pass safety tests, Tesla isn’t going to make a car without driving assist and other innovations, and Subaru isn’t going to make a car that doesn’t feel at home on loose mountain roads.
Now think about what brand activation means for your credit union. Imagine curating your members and employees in the same way Subaru curates customers who will only buy a Subaru. This is the key to building long-term value – loyalty, retention, and engagement of both your members and staff.
NIH Federal Credit Union is an excellent example of brand activation in the physical environment. This branch is about how you feel when you are in the space.
The credit union had previously built branches that told you what it was about- we are a member of the bio-medical community. The branches were clean and functional, but they didn’t make you feel any differently than any other nicely appointed branch facility.
But with their recent branch transformation, they pivoted from this explicit association to healthcare to conveying a feeling of wellbeing. Green walls, natural materials, calming spaces, places where members feel at ease.
This shift from telling to showing activated their brand and helps their market identify with the credit union at a deeper level.
There are steps you can take to put this idea into practice, and they start with understanding what your brand actually is and what your credit union stands for.
Talk to your stakeholders to discover your internal vision, business goals, and generally how you want to be perceived.
Talk to existing members and develop an understanding of how they see you.
Look at how you stack up to the competition. Is the brand you’re building or refining truly differentiated in the market? Are you really giving members a reason to choose you?
And finally, audit your brand to make sure it’s authentic and something that is embraced by not only members but your team, and that it aligns with your actions and value proposition.
Want to learn more about activating your brand as part of holistic strategy to help your credit union compete in an increasingly digital world?