Now is the time to reinforce your brand identity.

So, you think your credit union’s brand is discernible and compelling. Sure, you have a highly loyal, albeit small, membership core who depends on your financial resources. But what about the (much) larger membership base who looks at your credit union as just one of several FI’s amongst their banking options? Or worse, what about the members who don’t even consider the credit union when they finance large purchases? Can your brand foundation compete effectively through this unprecedented health and economic crisis? It cannot if marketing has taken a back seat due to shrinking revenues.

Here’s the reality: The fundamentals of marketing, as well as of human behavior, don’t change—only budgets and resources do. During these difficult times, marketing will give members a reason to hope and a reason to spend. Analyze your marketing plans, not in terms of budget, but in terms of opportunity. While the pandemic has paused the world, it hasn’t stopped it. While it has created stress and confusion, it has also spurred creativity and challenged all of us to ‘do better.’ It is against this backdrop that your brand pillar, your credit union’s ‘raison d’etre’ and your mission can really shine.

How can your credit union keep pace, you may ask? Be open to change. Whether it’s rethinking your retention strategy, trying out new methods of messaging or reprioritizing your products to more align with member needs now, agility is key.

Understand your brand’s mission. Deliver a purpose-driven message. Marketing shouldn’t just be ticking a box. And, think more organically because the buying cycle has changed and will continue to do so. Create new demand for your old services.

  • Use member stories to show, rather than to sell.
  • Show empathy for your audience: Even if your members are not buying right now, you can send a ‘hope you are safe during these times’ email.
  • Create a series of podcasts: Talk about how your credit union has helped members.

Bottom line: branding is more important than ever. All that needs to be done is ‘retelling your credit union’s story’ using the right messaging and the most effective platforms.

Olivier Raoust, CEO Raoust+Partners