When partnering with credit unions and banks on brand and consumer experience initiatives, we counsel that all employees are brand ambassadors.

 

That is to say, every employee from the CEO on down serves as a representative of their brand…and not just during traditional hours or within the four walls of an office.

 

I learned this lesson firsthand during an awesome encounter on a flight to South Carolina earlier this year.

 

In route to work with a credit union on their brand initiative, I had the pleasure of sitting next to a gentleman whose face seemed familiar to me. After thinking on it a few minutes, I leaned over and asked “Excuse me, but are you James Jude Courtney?” He very politely confirmed his identity, shook my hand and engaged in pleasant small talk.

 

If the name isn’t familiar, Mr. Courtney is the actor who portrayed masked killer Michael Myers in the successful 2018 Halloween reboot. I’m a huge fan of both the 1978 classic original and the popular reboot, so it was a big deal for this fan-boy.

 

I learned later Mr. Courtney had just finished a grueling three-day weekend working a highly-attended horror convention (think comic-con but for horror movie fans) signing autographs, posing for pictures and interacting with fans.

 

That he took the time to interact with me on a flight home after putting in so many hours representing his movie brand is a testament both to his personality and character as well as his devotion to this idea of brand ambassadorship.

 

Here’s what Mr. Courtney could have done:

 

  • Brushed me off thinking something like, “I’ve put in my time, kid.”
  • Put in his headphones or pretended to be asleep
  • See me as just one more guy on a long list of fans

 

But he didn’t.

 

Here’s what he did do:

 

  • Treat me like an individual
  • Provide a dream fan experience
  • Represent his brand extremely well

 

 

How many of us can say we’ve done the same thing after a long week representing our financial institution’s brand? After all, we’ve put in those hours at the office. We’ve lived inside those four walls. Now it’s time to cut loose, right?

 

In many ways, absolutely.

 

When you work hard, you deserve time off on a weekend or vacation. Without it, you’re likely to burn out and not function well as a brand ambassador any day or time.

 

But the lesson here is, when you’re recognized in the public as an employee (i.e. brand ambassador) of your credit union or bank, you’re on stage. You’re representing your financial institution whether you’re wearing logo apparel or not.

 

If Michael Myers can step up and be an amazing brand ambassador after putting in days’ worth of hard work in his field, surely the people representing your credit union or bank can do the same.

 

 

And no — I didn’t bug Mr. Courtney for the entire flight. Even Michael Myers deserves time off, and nobody wants to sit next to the stereotypical (but very real) annoying talkative person that long while trapped in a flying metal tube at 30,000 feet.

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