Don't Let AI Steal Your Credit Union Brand

Mark Arnold
Don't Let AI Steal Your Credit Union Brand

“Emotions are an essential part of human intelligence. Without emotional intelligence, artificial intelligence is incomplete.” —Amit Ray

As you can guess by the title, ChatGPT did not write this article. Everywhere you turn, there is information about how artificial intelligence is changing everything. Including marketing.

As Roberta Dina said recently in a LinkedIn article, “I can confidently say that the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has revolutionized the world of branding.”

ChatGPT can certainly accelerate, optimize and assist your marketing. From helping with writing, analyzing data and generating campaign ideas, artificial intelligence can make your marketing much more efficient.

Raymond Stokes notes, “Why has AI become one of the most popular topics among marketers? Because it makes our lives easier.”

However, there is one area you must not let AI take over: your credit union brand. As we tell our clients all the time, your brand is the most valuable asset you have.

When it comes to your credit union brand and artificial intelligence, there are three areas to specifically watch.

Your Credit Union Brand Soul

Without modification, ChatGPT’s writing is well….robotic. It has information but none of the soul or emotion of a human writer. And while it can certainly learn your credit union brand tone over time, it has limitations.

During a recent brand workshop with one of our clients, we were working on updating their vision, values and niches. As a fun exercise, someone pulled up ChatGPT just to see what vision statement it would create. The result? A bunch of nice sounding words that meant absolutely nothing. While well written, it was about as generic as you could get.

Branding is emotional. And you don’t get much emotion from a robot.

Your Credit Union Brand Strategy

Artificial intelligence does not replace strategy. And branding is a strategic initiative. Branding is not a one-time project you just check off your marketer’s “To Do” list. As Tom Asaker, author of "A Clear Eye For Branding" says, “Branding is an ongoing process of renewal.”

Credit union branding answers key questions like “who are our niches,” “what is our core vision” and “why do we exist?” Good luck getting any relevant answers from AI to those questions. You can ask the machine those questions, but you will not garner any unique answers.

Strategy is not about taking shortcuts. You must focus and use your own brain (not a computer’s).

Your Credit Union Brand Implementation

Ultimately, people implement your brand strategy. If your credit union brand is “friendly and local,” having a robot answer the phone sends the wrong message.

For example, the financial institution I use for both my personal and business accounts recently introduced a robot phone tree that answers a customer’s initial call. I hate it. Why? Because when I call, I just want to talk to a live human being. There is a big disconnect because they say their brand is community. The last time I checked, there were no robots living in my neighborhood.

Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. You don’t want people referring to you as robotic and impersonal. We have big banks for that.

There is a lot AI can do at your institution. But when it comes to implementing your credit union brand, be careful not to sacrifice your brand for operational efficiency.

Yes, artificial intelligence is powerful. Or as Bill Gates said recently, “ChatGPT and AI is as revolutionary as mobile phones and the internet.”

And yes, AI will dominate marketing efforts in next 18 to 24 months. But that doesn’t mean AI should dominate your credit union brand. Rather, AI should align with your brand. To make sure you’re aligning AI with an authentic brand, book a free consultation today to discuss On The Mark Strategies’ branding sessions.

Mark Arnold
Founder and CEO