While working with a client during a recent brand workshop, a member of the credit union leadership team offered a sage comment. After two days of intensive brand education and discussion, he kicked back, smiled and said “You know what? I learned branding isn’t really all that scary after all.”

Many bank and credit union leaders may have similar fears and concerns about the topic of branding. After all, a quick search for “branding books” on Amazon returns hundreds of titles. From the outside, the world of bank and credit union branding can seem confusing at best and downright intimidating at times.

As the gentleman above noted, it doesn’t have to be.

Your brand doesn’t have to be scary.

With the right guidance, engagement and facilitation, developing a truly unique and customized brand experience for your bank or credit union is entirely possible (and rarely scary!). It’s all about brand education (getting your team onboard with what branding is and is not), brand research (digging deeply into the demographics of your area and soliciting key insights from consumers and staff) and discussion (using this education and information to craft a unique brand proposition).

In the not-too-distant past, I was terrified of swimming in the ocean (blame that on seeing Jaws in theaters at way too young an age). However, on a family beach vacation, my children (avid swimmers) took me by the hand and guided me out into the surf. And I was not immediately devoured by a pack of ravenous sharks, as I had feared for decades. Turns out, all I needed was a kind and experienced hand to help get me in the water.

The same principle applies to branding and your bank or credit union. If you are wary of branding or have seen the topic come up only to wither away time after time, sometimes all it takes is a little help from someone who has jumped into that deep end of the pool before.

Don’t let branding scare you. The potential return on brand investment for your bank or credit union is immense and, as the gentleman noted above, not all that scary to explore.

And, there’s little chance of shark interference as you develop a brand.