MAPLE GROVE, Minn. – Residents here are invited to pull out their finest attire, shine their shoes and put on their top hats by Firstel Federal Credit Union to celebrate not only a new community charter but the launch of a new name-TopLine Federal Credit Union. “Our goal is to deliver top of the line personal service that people can bank on,” said TopLine FCU President/CEO Harry Carter. “The expanded charter allows us to actively promote our services and we changed our name to reflect our growth and progress.” This is the second name change for the over $200 million credit union. Seven Bell System employees first chartered it in 1935 as the Minneapolis Telco Credit Union. In 1996, after converting from a state charter to a federal charter it became Firstel Federal Credit Union. For this change TopLine FCU enlisted the services of Minneapolis-based Nametag International to help create a name that would not only capture the essence of its 67-yearold history but also make a splash in the community. “Just because we turned to experts doesn’t mean our team here was overlooked,” said Carter. “Our marketing staff, and everyone here worked together to define what our credit union stands for, how we would like to be perceived and what makes us stand out from the competition. Without that invaluable input I don’t think we’d be as pleased with the final result.” Working on the project since the first quarter of 2002, and after conducting numerous individual and group focus groups, telephone surveys, legal searches the credit union finally had its latest identity. The sleek new logo was designed to easily equate the credit union with premium service and simplicity by using a vibrant, rich candy-apple red and soft gray. TopLine FCU then turned to local branding firm Group One to create a brand image and new tagline, It’s Where I Bank to reflect the pride members said they felt in being a part of the credit union. The tagline also projects an image of stability and confidence reinforced by the bold red. “Again the brand campaign developed from extremely good thinking and foundation on the part of TopLine FCU staff especially our marketing department,” said Carter. “We hope the ads and the brand speaks for itself and tells people they can look to TopLine FCU for a better banking experience from products to personalized service.” Playing up the “white glove” attention to service, white boxes with red bows featuring the TopLine logo and tagline were delivered to industry contacts and the credit union’s top depositors. Inside each box a clear vellum announcement introducing the new name stating that “There is no sweeter way to bank” and underneath resting in a soft bed of white foam a Hershey chocolate bar wrapped in red with the new logo. In addition, direct mailings have been sent to introduce TopLine FCU to new potential members who live, work worship, attend school or volunteer in Hennepin County. According to Carter the process has been long but worth every penny. “We knew it was the right time for this,” said Carter. “We just were not growing as we should. Now we have to move forward with establishing our new brand and hopefully continue to develop our business for the next 67 years.” [email protected]

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to, part of your ALM digital membership.

Your access to unlimited content isn’t changing.
Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Critical information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account?

Dig Deeper


Credit Union Times

Join Credit Union Times

Don’t miss crucial strategic and tactical information necessary to run your institution and better serve your members. Join Credit Union Times now!

  • Free unlimited access to Credit Union Times' trusted and independent team of experts for extensive industry news, conference coverage, people features, statistical analysis, and regulation and technology updates.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and Credit Union Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join Credit Union Times

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.