<p>BETHPAGE, N.Y. – Bethpage Federal Credit Union is hoping that members will see a reflection of what they fancy most in its new logo and promise. It starts with the logo graphic – is it a heart, a butterfly, a capital letter “B” at an angle? Well no-one including BFCU Assistant Vice President of Marketing Robert Schwartz will tell for sure. “Really it is whatever it means to you,” said Schwartz. “It represents the freedom our members experience. We intentionally left it ambiguous.” While the symbol may prompt questions, the message BFCU wants to deliver is clear, “Banking among friends”. According to BFCU CEO Kirk Kordeleski, the new logo and tagline are more in line with the experience members receive when banking with Bethpage FCU and helps differentiate the credit union from other financial institutions in the marketplace. “We undertook extensive research and asked staff, select employee groups and both current and potential members what makes us different and we learned they appreciate our friendly service, and our way of doing business,” said Kordeleski. “Over and over we heard that there is a comfort in working with us so our brand now more closely describes that.” After 14 years of being known as “BFCU-The Safe Place” it was time for a change. According to Schwartz although BFCU is the largest credit union in terms of assets on Long Island it still seemed to be almost like a well-kept secret. “People couldn’t identify with our old square BFCU logo, yet when we said Bethpage FCU people knew who we were,” said Schwartz. “We also found that `the safe place’ just didn’t mean as much today. It was appropriate in the eighties with the demise of the S&Ls but now every financial institution should be safe. So we had to rebuild awareness with a renewed emphasis on extraordinary member service.” According to Schwartz, people constantly repeated that Bethpage FCU was “like a bank, but different”. “They were able to recall the traditional credit union characteristics (member owned, not-for-profit, putting people first, etc.), but also recognized that we do things differently. Our people are friendlier – fees are lower – the credit union genuinely cares about its members and employees. Among members and nonmembers, SEGs and potential SEGs, this was in stark contrast to the perceptions they had of other local financial institutions.” Partnering with Manhattan-based Enterprise IG, one of the largest brand consultancies, to research and develop the new look and feel, Bethpage FCU opted for a more scientific approach to branding. Later in the year Bethpage FCU will begin to market more aggressively to its largely untapped prospective members with external media such as local publications and newspapers. For now Bethpage FCU is in the process of branding all its branches, ATMs and redesigning its Web site. [email protected]</p>

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