It won’t be long now before kids and their parents hit the streets dressed in different kinds of costumes on their quest for candy, candy and more candy. In the spirit of Halloween, we thought we would have a little fun with our credit union and bank audience.

If you had to describe your financial institution in terms of a Halloween costume, which type would it be?

Cute – Who can resist those cute little kids dressed as lady bugs, kitty cats and assorted Disney characters? You just want to squeeze them – after you give them an extra piece of candy, of course. If your financial institution warm and fuzzy? If customers or members can’t wait to bring you extra business because your employees are just gushing with kindness and compassion, you might be sporting a cute costume.

Funny – We all have our own brand of funny, but generally speaking, something or someone is funny if they make people laugh often. Does your financial institution seem to exude laughter? Are your marketing materials and overall messaging humorous in nature? Does your brand have a reputation for being witty? You might just win the costume contest for funniest financial institution.

Scary – We have all had one of these in our lifetime – a financial institution that made you think twice before you picked up the phone to call them or walked into a branch. They are either extremely unhelpful, entirely too unfriendly or even worse, exceptionally incompetent. They treat you badly and constantly make mistakes. If this describes your financial institution, it’s time for a wardrobe change.

Superhero – Fighting villains around the clock, super heroes spend their time saving good people from band situations. If you save your customers or members from spending too much money, taking out expensive loans they don’t need and helping them avoid significant financial mistakes, your financial institution may very well be a super hero.

Huh? – And then there’s this – someone who shows up to your door wearing a costume that makes you go hmmmm. Did they just throw something on to get free candy? Your financial institution might fall into this category if your brand is confusing. Maybe you promise one thing (convenience, great products) but deliver something completely different. Perhaps your service is inconsistent. Sometimes it’s good and sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes your employees are friendly. Sometimes they aren’t. If this is your financial institution, consider a brand workshop or marketing audit to focus your brand.

Halloween costumes are only temporary and brand personalities can be fixed and/or strengthened. If the costume category with which you most closely associated your financial institution is not where you want your brand to be, now is the time to identify your brand gaps and make the changes necessary to better define or strengthen your financial institution and its brand.