Three Marketing Lessons from the US Military

Sean Galli

America’s service members are exceptional at many things. Their passion, grit and steadfast defense of what’s right keeps all of us safe – something no amount of thanks can ever repay.

But they’re good at more than just fighting battles. America’s military has shown time and again the power of great marketing to stir people to great action.

Let’s go over three marketing lessons from the US military and how they’ll help your credit union or community bank spur people to act.

1. Forge Tough Taglines

One thing military marketers mastered a long time ago was taglines. Catchy, yet meaningful, these taglines stick with you and push you to something greater.

"The Few. The Proud. The Marines" instantly sparks visions of the daring marines seen in countless television commercials. "Be All You Can Be" is an easily repeatable tagline calling on audiences to find their purpose in the Army. "The Next Greatest Generation is Now" shows the National Guard’s confidence in Gen Z, drawing Gen Z to join up and fulfill the slogan.

Like the military, your credit union and community bank needs an easily repeatable tagline connected to your brand imagery. It needs to give consumers a purpose and call them to action. And it should always target your niche, giving them a reason to call your institution home.

2. Rally Audiences Behind the Mission

What does your marketing tell consumers? Get a checking account? You can almost hear them snoozing already because honestly…that’s boring.

The Marines once again show us how it’s done in their commercial, "Full Circle." This commercial shows military service is about more than firing guns in a foreign country. It’s a spirit you bring home to your community and a beacon for the next generation to follow.

Rally consumers behind what they really do at your local financial institution. They serve the community. They make other people’s dreams possible. Now that sounds a bit better than opening an account, doesn’t it?

3. No Promise Left Behind

Follow-up is one of the most important elements needed when running a successful business. And it’s also important to the military.

Because the truth is, a military job follows through on the marketing promises of defending the country as a Marine or doing something unique in the Navy. Joining the military means a potential deployment to places as diverse as Germany or Iraq. You’ll fight, you’ll fly planes, you’ll help desperate people – all like it shows in the ads.

Follow-up should be a vital part of your credit union or community bank’s marketing, too. Your products and services should fulfill the promises your marketing makes to grow someone’s money, save them money or accomplish their dreams.

As the Marines say, "semper fidelis."  Stay always faithful to your promises, and your consumers will stay faithful to you.

Do you need better taglines, a better mission or better follow-through? Build a brand that’s ready to win the countless battles ahead in the industry with our On The Mark Strategies rebranding team.

Sean Galli
Copywriter
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