“A brand is a living entity, the product of a thousand small gestures,”  –Michael Eisner, former CEO, Disney

The CUNA Marketing & Business Development Conference this year took place at The Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California. The venue alone taught many branding lessons. Perhaps no company has as powerful a brand as Disney .

But that brand power does not just come from a massive advertising campaign, a well-known logo or a strong strategy. Disney’s brand power comes from the details.

The shower knobs were in the form of Mickey Mouse. The towel racks were Mickey Mouse hands. The employees were “cast members” with smiles. Everywhere you turned, there were thousands of small gestures (as Eisner’s quote above notes).

While credit unions and banks certainly want a strong brand like Disney, the reality is they are in the financial services industry and not the entertainment industry. However, there are plenty of brand details and lesson that apply.

Here are details your financial institution must examine when it comes to your brand:

  • Your drive-up appeal—What does your financial institution look like from the outside? Are the lawns manicured nicely or is their trash everywhere? Just like in real estate, drive up appeal matters.
  • Your bathrooms—How do your bathrooms smell? Whatever that smell is, it is communicating something about your brand.
  • Your dress code—What do your employees look like and what does their dress say about your credit union or bank? Is it professional, is it “anything goes,” is it fun, is it stuffy, is it uniform? The way your employees dress is a visual representation of your brand.
  • Your amount of material—How many marketing pieces are displayed in your branches? As noted in a recent blog post, you might have too much marketing crap in your branches.
  • Your call to action—Do your marketing pieces contain a call to action or are they just pushing random messages? A call to action is an easy step to overlook.

While branding and marketing are certainly strategic and major issues, the reality is that the small details with your brand are just as important.