Got Credit Unions? S.C. League, CU Seek to Trademark 'Every Day is Bank Transfer Day'
The $1.3 billion South Carolina Federal Credit Union of North Charleston and the South Carolina Credit Union League may have the workaround for a national credit union brand awareness campaign.
In a bid to deliver a message as concise as “Got Milk”, that taps into the rising tide of consumers interested in finding banking alternatives, S.C. Federal Chief Operating Officer Troy Hall and Senior Vice President Beth Jaskiewicz have applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register “Every Day is Bank Transfer DayTM” for protected use by credit unions.
According to Steve Fowler, president/CEO of the S.C. Credit Union League & Affiliates in Columbia, it’s a simple, direct way to differentiate credit unions while promoting not just awareness but consumer action. The message can be freely used by credit unions and adopted into their own brand with the only restrictions that it include the proper trademark distinction and not be used to bash banks, they said.
Considering credit unions have historically struggled to agree on concise messaging, Hall and Jaskiewicz suggested credit unions focus more on philosophy as differentiation rather than price.
Bank Transfer Day was originated by Kristen Christian, who galvanized consumers to show their discontent with big banks by moving their funds to credit unions or community banks on Nov. 5. The move by Hall and Jaskiewicz for trademark protection was simply a way to help reinforce the cooperative nature of credit unions and build on the awareness of credit unions that peaked on Nov. 5.
“The time is now to take action and keep the momentum going,” said Hall. “Never before have credit unions had so much positive media attention and the focus of so many newsworthy stories. Financial gurus like Dave Ramsey and Suze Orman have been touting the value of credit unions and urging consumers to make the switch from their commercial bank."
According to Fowler, the possibilities are endless. For now, plans are underway for all SCCUL members to run a pilot where they will blitz their communities by using the same trademarked message during the week of Dec. 5-9 to build awareness that there are banking alternatives.