Heart of Louisiana Federal Credit Union

Branding. Thinking of the word often conjures images of dollar signs. Huge Chick-Fil-A billboard campaigns. Endless McDonald’s jingles. Innumerable Coca-Cola TV commercials. Of course, the financial services world is hyper-competitive and full of large brands as well. Large credit unions have marketing staff, budgets, and agencies to help them compete in the branding world.

But what is a small credit union to do? Here are four steps smaller credit unions can take when it comes to branding.

Find Your Niche

As Seth Godin, marketing guru and author of The Purple Cow says, “The most successful companies today are the ones that are finding a niche and serving it.” That certainly applies to credit unions. When it comes to branding, size doesn’t matter: niches do.

As a small credit union, you cannot be all things to all people. Ultimately, you must answer the question, “Who is your credit union serving?”

Consider Communicating Arts Credit Union in Michigan. They are a $32-million credit union in Detroit. Their niche is serving the underserved. When it came time to open a second branch they didn’t’ hesitate to open in Detroit’s Highland Park area (one of the toughest parts of the city—so tough even the check cashers had left!). Why did they do that? Because they know their niche and are serving it. The credit union prices accordingly, but they are clear about their target audience. They are one of the most successful credit unions in Michigan’s “Save to Win” program.

Implement Cheers Marketing

The classic 1980s sitcom Cheers offers insights into how small credit unions can compete with their brand. In the show, when Norm walked into the bar, they called him by his name, sat him in his seat, and served him his beer.

Cheers marketing means knowing your members better than anyone else. Knowing your members by sight when they walk in the door is a form of branding. Greeting them like no one else does (even better than their dog) sends a strong brand message: that they matter to you.

A major branding technique you can use is to turn your members into a referral engine. In his book The Referral Engine, John Jantsch says, “Highly referred businesses are good enough to make people want to talk about them, but they amplify this natural desire by making word of mouth an essential element of the culture.”

You might also like:

Dixie - Anthem of the Confederate States of A…
Dixie - Anthem of the Confederate States of A…
State of the Union Address: Speech by Presi…
State of the Union Address: Speech by Presi…
I Heart My Credit Union - Small Business
I Heart My Credit Union - Small Business

Pineville High School 2010 graduates

Related posts: