FEATURED in CUInsight: Navigating Success with Your Brand GPS

by La Macchia Group

The competition to attract and retain membership amongst financial institutions has grown incrementally over the past decade. When everyone is vying for the same end goal, how do you stand out from the pack and move ahead? The answer – your brand.

But what truly is your brand? While many people identify a brand as a logo or a tagline, it is so much more than that. At La Macchia Group, we believe a brand is an experience. It is the emotional connection created with your members at every touchpoint; it is the heart and soul of your business. So, while a logo is a visual representation of your brand, a brand development or rebranding project is not just about creating an eye-catching graphic. It is about uncovering your Brand DNA and developing a supporting brand strategy that results in transformative experiences.

To determine the best brand strategy for your credit union, your Brand DNA will be your GPS. It will help you select the best route and guide your path to success.

Starting Point

Before you begin your branding journey, you need to have a starting point. How is your brand being reflected in the eyes of your members? Is your brand easily identifiable in your branches? What does your community think of your brand? Analyze your current brand equity to start to uncover opportunities and the strategic path forward.

A deep understanding of your existing member base as well as your targeted new membership helps us determine the breadth and broad appeal needed for your brand. Taking the time to truly understand what keeps your members up at night will help us create a brand that meets your members’ emotional needs and achieves a deeper connection. Focusing on how to develop strong relationships between your credit union and current and future members will strengthen your position in the market.

Using socioeconomic data, La Macchia Group connects your target demographic to your brand. By digging deeper into your brand demographic personas, from spending habits to lifestyles, we can then identify what we like to call your Brand DNA. It is that emotional, experiential connector between you and your consumers. Brand DNA is comprised of your core purpose, your desired position in the market, your vision for the future, the benefits of the products and services you offer, your values, and the personality of your credit union.

Selecting the Best Route – Let the Research Lead the Way

With a strong understanding of your Brand DNA, we can carve out the right direction for your strategy. Through this brand audit, you can make an informed decision about the best path forward for your credit union’s brand. Not every strategy will take the same path. Some brands may need a complete redesign, while others may need to refine their message in a specific delivery channel, such as the way their brand is experienced within their branch locations. Taking the time to research and gain hard data about your brand should be the guiding force behind which route you take your brand strategy.

Go! The Journey Begins

Ready, set, GO. With the best route selected, we then consistently and clearly reflect your Brand DNA across every touch point throughout your digital and physical landscapes.

What makes brands competitive today isn’t just a product or service, but the experience offered. At La Macchia Group, we define brand as the promise of an experience and we believe in creating transformative experiences. From the look and feel of your graphics and retail space to how your staff treats members and how your credit union contributes to the community reinforces that promise. What you need for your credit union is a brand that gets to the heart of what matters to your members. You need to infuse that emotion into your entire financial experience to ensure your organization leaves a lasting impression and reaches the ultimate destination—brand loyalty.

Reaching Your Destination: Brand Loyalty

The path to brand loyalty takes hard work and dedication; it’s not established overnight. Does your staff stand behind your brand mission and values? Are they embodying those values when they interact with members? Are your digital channels providing convenience and meeting the needs of your members? Brands that acquire strong brand loyalty have several common factors: strong communication and engagement, high-level service experience, and product delivery experience. If you’re able to elevate your brand experience to include all three factors, brand loyalty is within reach—and you’ll be there before you know it.

See the article here in CUInsight