RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Riverside County's Credit Union has dug into California's cultural roots for its new name. After turning to Denver-based branding firm Monigle Associates for guidance, the $640 million credit union's search for a new name ended with the unveiling of Altura Credit Union - a Spanish word meaning great heights. With a recent approval earlier this year to expand its field of membership beyond Riverside County, Altura CU President/CEO Mark Hawkins said the old name would have limited its growth. "It's no secret that we have been considering a name change for some time -we took pride in our name but we simply outgrew it," said Hawkins. "So when we started this process we couldn't find an English word that worked for us, but we didn't want a made-up word. So we really looked at California and all the Spanish influences here and we thought why not look at Spanish words. Altura means height, elevation, altitude- we've always aimed high and now our name reflects that." In addition, two of Altura CU's affiliate companies have also changed their names and logos -Anthem Insurance to Patrion Insurance Services, and RCCU Mortgage to Patrion Mortgage. Vibrant, fresh colors of blue, green and orange not only reflect the water, agriculture and mountains of the Southern California communities served by Altura CU, but the multiple colors and shapes are also designed to communicate the credit union's commitment to diversity both within its organization and the community at large. Components of the colors will also be brought into the branches to reinforce the new brand and help designate certain areas such as bright orange for ATM kiosks or dark blues to represent cash transaction areas. "We want every delivery point to be touched by some aspect of the new brand colors so that the logo design or Altura name is everywhere you look," said Ricki McManuis, VP of Marketing. "Our big marketing message this year going forward is that we're still the same -same great people, same great service a brand new name." To generate buzz, an advertising campaign including billboards was launched in early September hinting that a name change was in the works. Altura CU members also received special direct mailings and new ads highlighting the Altura CU name kicked off in newspaper and radio ads on Oct. 4. "This isn't something we went into lightly and so far the member and employee reaction has been overwhelmingly positive," said Hawkins. "I asked some of our bilingual staff at a recent unveiling of the new signage `how does the name feel?' The response was that it is very powerful, uplifting and inviting and that is what we kept hearing over and over again during focus groups. There aren't many opportunities to reinvent yourself and we believe this name is a good fit and will help build our image in the marketplace." -firstname.lastname@example.org
RCCU Name Change to Altura CU Reaches New Heights
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