A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to stay at a hotel nearest the credit union with which we were partnering on a new logo introduction and brand training. The accommodations were fine (clean grounds, well-kept interior, room as expected). What caught my eye, however, was something the house cleaning crew did after my first night there.

When I came back to my room the evening of the first day, the bed was made, trash cans emptied, etc. The bathroom sink and tub had been cleaned and the vanity tidied. Standing on the sink though was something that prompted a rare double-take: the cleaning crew had taken the time to wrap a hand towel around my travel toothbrush case, almost origami style, in the shape of a flower.

I’d never seen this done before. Over years of travel, I’ve seen hand towels in the shape of swans and other birds. There is even one slightly-odd hotel south of Chicago that insisted on putting a yellow rubber ducky holding a sign saying “I Love You” on the side of the tub. But this origami toothbrush flower was new to me.

What does this say about the brand of the hotel? It says different. It says unique. It says memorable. It says training. The hotel obviously makes this a part of what they expect their housekeeping staff to do for guests on a daily basis. And it pops.

Your financial institution faces a similar conundrum when it comes to brand.

How can you be different? How can you stand out? How can you resonate and rise to memorable status in the hearts and minds of your consumers while thousands of competitors are simultaneously shouting for their attention?

Attention to brand and differentiation is critical for your bank or credit union. You must give consumers a reason to think about you on a regular basis. The relationship you have with them must be more than products-only. If your consumers think about you like, “Oh, this is the place where I have a car loan,” or “That’s where I have my savings account,” then your credit union or bank has a very surface-level relationship with the consumer.

It is far easier for consumers with that mindset to leave you for (or be seduced away by) the competition.

It’s unlikely your key points of brand differentiation will include an origami toothbrush flower. It’s important, however, that you do find that certain special something (or somethings) that elevate your brand game to the next level.

There is no way in the world I’d be thinking about the hotel that did the origami toothbrush flower right now if they hadn’t done something special to be memorable. Is your credit union or bank comfortable with a consumer base that doesn’t think about them? That doesn’t care? That doesn’t remember? Hopefully not.

Brand matters. Make sure yours is memorable.