Moving forward is important, and it’s something every credit union wants to do. But it’s easy to get progress-obsessed…always looking at the next big demographic, the next campaign, the next technological development.
Don’t sacrifice your heritage at the altar of progress. Neither a brand that refuses to move forward nor one that separates from its roots are likely to thrive.
The truth is: your past and future can coexist.
Here are four ways to honor your past while moving your institution forward:
- Your Name – Maybe you no longer serve a certain employee group. Maybe your charter expanded to include more communities. Whatever the reason, you need a name change…but a new name doesn’t mean forgetting your past. Choose a name that honors your past while including the new field of membership. For example, we helped Fort Lee CU become Homebase CU after they expanded their community charter. The name “Homebase” lets new members know they are welcome while honoring the institution’s roots at the military base.
- Your Logo – Research shows you need a logo update every 10 years. That means a lot of change if your credit union is getting up there in age, but it doesn’t mean completely ditching your old design. Update your logo for the modern day without losing what makes your institution distinctively…well…you. A recent logo redesign we did for Zia CU produced a clean, modern logo that retained the Zia Sun from their old design. As a symbol of New Mexico, the Zia Sun was too traditionally important to abandon.
- Your SEG Marketing – Marketing to your credit union’s original employee group doesn’t end because your field of membership widened. After all, these are the folks that started everything, and new employees can still become members. Always keep them in mind. Carve out marketing efforts just for them. Allied FCU continues marketing to their traditional SEG of city employees with special “SEG Baskets.” These baskets have seasonal themes and contain items for the employee group. What can you do to continue prioritizing your SEG?
- Your Products and Services – Yes, even your product offerings and services can honor your roots. Tailor loans to those people who originally gave life to your credit union. Are teachers your original audience? Offer a unique educators loan. Are special CD rates available? Name the promotion after the first county you served. Maybe these things sound trivial, but they pay respect to your original member groups…a well of members that hasn’t yet run dry. As Scottish writer James Barrie said, “Forget not your past, for in the future it may help you grow.”
If you want to make sure your marketing respects your roots while moving your institution forward, get an outside expert to assess your marketing. Book your free consultation with On The Mark Strategies to start assessing yourself today.