In this day and age of artificial intelligence, chatbots and robot banking it seems we’re all about technology, technology, technology. While not tied to the banking industry directly, self-driving cars are quite the rage as well, with Wired Magazine recently saying “Maybe It’s Time To Cede US Freeways To Driverless Cars.”
But let’s be clear: when it comes to your credit union or bank, your brand is not a self-driving car. Consider the following:
Branding takes action—Unlike a self-driving car, when it comes to your brand you can’t just sit back, take it easy and enjoy the ride. You have to do the work. In many cases, that work is daily work. At the end of each day, your managers should ask every employee, “What did you do today to live our brand?” Executives must invest in your brand in the form of analyzing brand gaps, conducting brand training and maybe even completing a rebrand.
Branding takes leadership—Unlike a self-driving car, when it comes to your brand someone IS in the drivers’ seat. And that “someone” are the leaders of your financial institution. While your employees should live your brand, it’s your board members, executives and managers who must lead your brand. From a day-to-day perspective your front-line managers (branch managers, teller supervisors, department heads, etc.) play a critical role in your brand’s success. They set the examples, reinforce the brand standards and coach the employees.
Branding takes awareness—Unlike a self-driving car, when it comes to your brand you are the one (not the car) that has to be aware of your surroundings. We often think of brand awareness as how much consumers know about our brand through our advertising. But awareness goes much deeper. You need to know your competitors, your positioning and your strategy. The best way to determine those issues is by conducting a marketing audit and completing a brand plan. In many cases, the biggest threats to your brand come from within.
Branding takes a map—Unlike a self-driving car, when it comes to your brand you need map that tells you where you’re gong. Or as we like to call it, a brand compass. This compass serves as guide: your true north direction. What is your credit union or bank passionate about? Why do you want to go in one direction instead of another? What do you want to strategically accomplish with your brand? Answering these questions gives your brand map that direction.
You may eventually let a self-driving car take you places. But when it comes to your credit union or bank’s brand, don’t ever let anyone else drive it.