Branding your credit union or bank does not work without your employees. No matter what you say your brand vision is, if your employees don’t live it every single day it doesn’t matter.
Raddon, a Fiserv company, found that 55 percent of financial institution employees are disengaged with their credit union or bank’s brand. That means, in theory, more than half of the employees your members or customers interact with aren’t representing your brand. And your consumer experience is suffering because of it.
Clearly, living the brand is where many credit unions and banks struggle. You have a catchy tagline, a bold vision and even a targeted niche. But then your employees fail to live the brand message you’ve created. It’s the classic struggle of consistency.
For example—I’m sure this doesn’t happen at your institution—a consumer may go to one of your branches and, when they don’t receive the answer they wanted, drive across town to another one of your branches because they’ll get a different answer there.
The lack of employees consistently living your brand can destroy your brand.
So how can you ensure your employees live your brand consistently? Here are five tips for various time periods:
- Daily—Every single day managers and supervisors should ask the question of their employees, “what did you do today to live our brand?” Have them give an actual story or example of what they did for a co-worker or a consumer that demonstrated your brand vision. Asking that question every day allows employees to connect the dots between their actions and your brand.
- Weekly—Hopefully each of your departments are having weekly (or semi-weekly) meetings with their team. At every single one of those meetings the brand should be discussed. It doesn’t have to be a long chat: even five minutes will do. But every time an area gets together for a regular meeting, be sure to discuss your brand. Creative ways to lead that discussion could be in the form of a game (see who can remember the tagline and vision), a short video from the CEO, or discussing brand gaps.
- Monthly—Create some type of one-page tip sheet that employees can read and apply. For example, for our member experience clients we provide a monthly “Living the Brand” newsletter that gives a short brand principle, practical ways your employees can live that brand principle and a section for the employee to write three action steps they will take that month to apply that brand principle.
- Quarterly—The quarterly time period is an excellent opportunity for a brand and financial update. This is where you want to share results with how your brand is impacting the financial performance of your credit union or bank. Share financial numbers like loan growth and net income. But when doing so draw the connection between your brand and those numbers. You can also share data like the net promoter score, survey results and consumer feedback. Branding absolutely impacts the bottom line so share that impact with your team quarterly.
- Yearly—Conduct a “Brand Day” event. Notice I didn’t use the word “training.” Unfortunately some of your employees may think training is boring. But when you make brand “training” more of an event and more fun then they are drawn to it. You can bring in an outside speaker, have fun activities, feed your team and spend time reinforcing your brand values. For an example of how to have a brand day, check out this post.
Consistency matters. But your employees consistently living your brand won’t happen by osmosis. It takes intention. When it comes to consistently engaging your employees with your brand that means daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly times to intentionally focus on brand engagement.