Learn Some Bank and Credit Union Brand Trigonometry

Sean Galli
Learn Some Bank and Credit Union Brand Trigonometry

You probably just read that title and had horrified flashbacks to high school mathematics, but don’t worry…there aren’t any complicated equations here. Bank and credit union brand trigonometry is quite simple to understand. The real difficulty is mastering it.

Let’s go over the brand triangle and what each part of it means for your bank or credit union brand.

The Brand Triangle

The Brand Triangle is made up of three parts (obviously). Those three parts are:

  1. Your Institution’s Leaders
  2. Your Institution’s Staff
  3. Your Consumers

Your institution’s leaders are the brand pioneers. They strategically drive the brand forward and set the example for living out its values. Without their guiding hands, it’s difficult for the brand to have a focus.

Your institution’s staff lives the bank or credit union brand. They put those high-in-the-sky brand strategies into action. Your brand survives or dies with your employees because they are the concrete representation of its values to consumers.

And of course, your consumers (hopefully) love the brand. This leg of the triangle is a result of the first two legs working well. It’s also worth noting the strength of the word "love." Consumers not hating you isn’t good enough. You also don’t want them to be apathetic.

You need a bank or credit union brand triangle that motivates your consumers to make others into brand disciples as well. Don’t settle for an average brand. Shoot for an excellent one.

Lead the Brand

Leading the brand starts with strategy. Your executives shouldn’t just sit in a room, decide on some colors and a logo and say, "we have a brand." They do not have a brand. They have some colors and a logo.

This leg of the bank or credit union brand triangle revolves around core strategic issues, such as:

  • Creating interesting and genuine brand values
  • Defining your target markets/niches
  • Crafting guidelines for brand messaging

These elements provide a baseline for who you are – the real meat and potatoes of any respectable brand.

Live the Brand

Living the brand usually entails training. Your brand training brings those strategic decisions down to a tactical level. It helps all employees understand your brand, why it’s important and how everyone is accountable for following it.

Also, your brand cannot be: "We are nice people who smile at members or customers as they enter the branch." Everyone either aspires to do that or already does it well…even your mega-bank competitors.

It’s time to go beyond being nice.

Teach your staff the bank or credit union brand is all about going above and beyond for consumers. Teach them to provide solutions and guidance where other institutions provide a handshake and a wave.

Love the Brand

Make your brand so good your consumers can’t help but tell others about it.

The digital-first world of the 2020s didn’t reduce the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing. As of 2022, it still accounted for $6 trillion of spending and 13% of sales. That’s to say your loyal fanbase spreads your amazing bank or credit union brand to their own fanbases.

Like the roots of a tree, that brand love extends further and further out. But you must steward your brand every day. Neglecting your brand means those fruitful roots shrivel up, so never take a backseat and assume your brand will drive itself.

Are you ready to put the bank and credit union brand triangle into action? Book a free consultation with On The Mark Strategies, and get help building a lasting identity.

Sean Galli
Marketing Coordinator