What’s In a Name? A Lot, Actually.

Sean Galli

As any parent will tell you, a baby’s name is important. And the process might be…long, to say the least. The parents make lists, have disagreements and after much exploration and compromising, name the baby.

Well, your credit union or community bank might very well feel like your own baby. And as your baby, you want it to have the right name. Yes, you heard me – the right name.

Your credit union or community bank’s name has a meaning vital to your success, so you better make sure it has the right elements. Let’s go over three of these elements to get you started.

1. Your Name is Easy to Say

This one seems obvious but poses problems for institutions chartered long ago. What do I mean? Here’s an example. Your credit union started with city employees, so your name is something like “Made Up City Employees Credit Union” or “MUCECU.”

The problem is, neither of these are easy to say. Even your members would prefer to say “my credit union” over your actual name. Your consumers might sing your praises, but their friends will never know your name because it’s inconvenient to say.

So, what are some ways to make your name easy to say? You can:

  • Limit the number of words
  • Make it an easily recognizable word or phrase
  • Ensure its acronym flows well

Don’t wait to change an inconvenient name, too. In a world where 90% of consumers choose convenient brands over their competitors, it’s vital to have a good name as quickly as possible.


2. Your Name is Different Than Competitor Names

Differentiation starts at your credit union or community bank’s name. Sharing a name with your competitors (especially if they’re local) will make it difficult to find you.

Let’s look at another example, this time from outside the financial industry. If you type “First Baptist Church” into Google, you get plenty of results. They might have small differences, but the core name is the same. Which First Baptist Church did your friend love? It’s hard to say.

Don’t let your credit union or community bank succumb to a similar fate. Take the time to do competitor research, and cross out potentially confusing names. Maximize your name’s word-of-mouth and Google search potential.

3. Your Name Targets Your Niche

Your name sends a message. It tells consumers if they’re welcome or unwelcome. Are you sending the right message?

Some institutions (credit unions in particular) start out serving a specific niche, but over time, their niche changes. However, their name doesn’t change with the niche.

We recently helped a client with just this issue. Fort Lee FCU originally served employees at a base of the same name. As they widened membership to serve those throughout multiple counties, they realized they needed a name appealing to old and new members alike.

Leadership selected Homebase CU as the new name, an option evoking their history at the military base while remaining broad enough to welcome the wider community.

So, change your name with the times. Welcome an expanded consumer base as your credit union or community bank grows.

Is your name outdated? If so, let’s find you a new name you’ll love. Book a free consultation with On The Mark Strategies, and we’ll guide you through the naming process from start to finish.

Sean Galli
Copywriter
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