GARDEN CITY, N.Y. - Add Nassau County Federal Credit Union to the growing list of credit unions opting for a new name and brand identity. Effective July 1, 2005, the $248 million credit union will be known as Nassau Financial, with the tagline "More of What a Bank Should Be." "It is a name that positions us for future membership growth in our expanded market area," said Nassau Financial CEO Frank Cordano. "Only our name and logo has changed, we still remain committed to our members by providing a high level of personalized service and affordable financial service and products." After getting a community charter last year, Cordano says the time was right to revamp the credit union's image after some 70 years. In addition, focus group studies revealed there was a lot of confusion over the current name and many thought they had to have a relationship with Nassau county government to be eligible to join. "It was a move we had to make to distinguish ourselves from the competition," said Cordano. "I know there is a big controversy in using the word bank but unfortunately based on focus groups of members and non-members alike, many people just had no concept of what a credit union is, so by using the word bank in the tagline it helps convey what we do-not that we want to be a bank or imply we are one." Cordano adds that the new name preserves the credit union's heritage with its local, county roots capturing the strength and integrity of the past while at the same time welcomes the new and expanded audience of consumers who are looking for better value and quality than banks are delivering. "I have to say originally I was against using the word bank. I've been in credit unions for 12 years now and I was taught that it was a bad word," said Cordano. "Now I see it as a way with our community charter to tell potential members in the general public what it is we do-it is like a necessary evil to help consumers understand more clearly the type of business we are in, which is providing financial products and services with the highest level of member service." Cordano says one of the biggest surprises revealed by the focus groups was the number of longtime credit union members including those belonging to local CU competitors who were not only unable to name their credit union but were still confused about who could join a credit union. "It was eye opening experience because we spend all our business days thinking about how members will perceive different things, contemplating how they will react and in reality we didn't have a clue," said Cordano. "For example one of the names we thought would come out ahead was First Nassau- but members and nonmembers thought it sounded like a start-up organization or we were new, whereas we thought of it as being the first here historically. It can't be stressed enough how important it is to do the research." The credit union tapped an outside branding firm and in addition to focus group research, all employees, board members and executives completed surveys covering all aspects of the credit union to help reveal its brand. "The comments from different people has been very positive and we keep hearing that the name and logo is fresh and first class so we hope members react in same way when the new signage and Web site rolls out in July," said Cordano. -email@example.com
Nassau County FCU Becomes Nassau Financial - More of What a Bank Should Be
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