Cooperative Trust: Inspiration as a CU Brand
While most people think of logos, taglines and corporate colors, they are not solely what a brand truly is. Your brand is the trust members place in your credit union. An exceptional experience and promise of trust is what your brand should be delivering at every interaction.
In what ways can inspirational branding be a great way to deliver on your brand promise? Author and leadership coach Simon Sinek discusses a concept called the golden circle. The basic premise answers the questions why, how and what. Most organizations, including credit unions, communicate the answers to why, how and what from the outside in. We offer checking, savings, and loans (what?); you can apply online or in a branch (how?); we are a credit union and have low rates on loans and high saving rates (why?).
Sinek explains that the world’s most successful organizations and leaders communicate from the inside out. The idea is to employ people and attract consumers who share your organizations beliefs. If you hire people because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work with blood, sweat and tears.
There are many ways to stimulate inspiration. It is the responsibility of our credit union leaders to communicate organizational goals. However, it is equally as important to elaborate on why those operational needs are important to the success of the credit union, and how that success has a direct impact on members and the community.
Belvoir Federal Credit Union understands inspirational branding and has enforced the importance of financial education among youth and within the community. Inspiration always came from the top levels of the organization. After seven years with Belvoir, I remain passionate, devoted and loyal to my credit union because I share the same organizational beliefs. I understand why I do what I do, which has led me to an even larger role with the organization's branding initiatives.
If your credit union brand can consistently deliver communication from the inside out, explaining why your credit union is relevant to the communities you serve, you can reinforce the relevance of your brand while providing inspiration to employees. Your employees will take that inspiration and share with their family, friends and, most importantly, your members.
Kenneth Worthey is a marketing and communications specialist at Belvoir Federal Credit Union, Woodbridge, Va.
Contact 703-730-1800 ext. 5364 or KWorthey@belvoirfcu.org.
The Cooperative Trust is a grassroots organization composed of several hundred young credit union professionals. Its activities include meetings, mentorships online collaboration and development projects. Opinions expressed are the personal views of the author.