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Posted: Jun 8, 2018
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Author: Lou Grilli

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published in CUInsight, and has been modified.]

Credit unions think of branding in terms of advertising, mailings, inserts, logos and social media. However, payments, and all the touch points associated with digital and plastic payments, are an equally important part of a credit union’s brand.

Credit Union marketers are diligent in ensuring that the brand is consistent throughout all aspects of member contact. So, signage, logos, websites, mobile and online banking platforms are all inspected for consistency with the brand. Payments should also be included in this thought process.

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Posted: May 2, 2018
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Act Small to Gain Trust

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published in Credit Union Times, and has been modified.]

There is no doubt that the credit union industry has been and still is going through quite a bit of change.  From mergers and acquisitions, to regulatory changes, to incorporating technology and attracting younger demographics. Overall, despite the shrinking number of credit unions; membership, loans and share numbers are up. According to Callahan’s Trendwatch Year-End 2017, The Annual Report for the Industry data, total credit union membership reached 112.9 million, up from 108.2 million at the end of 2016. While new auto loans (13.2%), used auto loans (10.3%), first mortgages (10.2%) and credit cards (9.2%) lead the way in annual growth among loans outstanding, and year-over-year growth in share drafts (10.0%), regular shares (7.1%) and share certificates (6.3%) outpace the rest of the portfolio. However, after being somewhat of the “anti-bank”, many argue that credit unions today are beginning to minimize the fact that they are credit unions and changing their profiles to look and feel more like retail banks in order to compete with their financial counterparts. Many have also been incorporating as many banking lingos in their messaging as they can. However, this may not be a good strategy.

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Posted: Apr 16, 2018
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5 Best Practices for Building Your Brand Online

[Editor's Note: This article was previously published in CUES Skybox, and has been modified.]

“Are you using social media?” Often when a credit union’s management is asked this question the answer is almost always a resounding yes! However, for some, this ‘yes’ just confirms that the credit union has established a Twitter account, or that a Facebook page exists. It doesn’t mean that the credit union is engaged or actively participating in the social media space – meaning posting relevant, value-added content consistently; responding to comments from your members timely and/or garnering qualified leads from your social media presence. More importantly, having a Facebook/Instagram/Twitter page doesn’t mean that you are a part of the online conversation; if your social content is static, your credit union’s products and services are probably not being mentioned in any of the threads. Also, your brand does not show up in relevant searches by prospective or existing members or in any online reviews that inform potential members.

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Posted: Oct 26, 2017
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5 Tips for Building Brand Recognition

(Editor’s Note: This article was previously published on CU Insight)

Back in the day, the standard to having the ultimate brand recognition was making your brand a “household name” meaning it would become a staple or necessity in homes, such as Kleenex and Band-Aids. Today, the standard is making it a verb, that is your brand becomes the word that names the action that is being taken. We no longer ask did you research it, we ask did you “Google” it. And in the payments space, we have observed the PayPal owned Venmo, the peer-to-peer (P2P) payment option of choice for many millennials, achieve this status in a relatively short period of time. We now say “Venmo” me the money.

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