I’m writing this post as I travel on an American Airlines flight. Even though they are in the middle of bankruptcy and a possible merger, American just made a big announcement about their brand: they are changing their logo! Forget strategy, target audiences, messaging and value proposition. When it comes to changing its brand, American Airlines is changing its logo. Are you serious?
While some will argue financial institutions can’t learn from other organizations (like airlines, retailers, etc.) I think American Airlines illustrates a key point for credit unions and banks. About what not to do when it comes to changing your brand.
Your brand is not your logo. Your brand is not your corporate identity package. Your brand is not your graphics standard manual. Your brand is not your advertising. Your brand is not your marketing.
So what is branding?
Branding is everything. Branding is your strategy. Branding is your culture. Branding is your employees. Branding is your target audiences. Branding is your values. Branding is your differentiators.
So changing your financial institution’s brand is more than just updating your logo. Much more. In fact, you can change your brand and keep the same logo and look. Much of branding deals with the strategy and not just the look. Yes, your logo and graphics matter and represent a visual image of who you are. But the visual is not the place to begin.
If you want to change your credit union or bank’s brand, start with an in-depth analysis of your culture—not your colors.