PASADENA, Calif. – As Wescom Credit Union’s small PT Cruiser “convoy” zips around southern California, consider it branding on the move. The three cars toting license plates 1WESCOM, 2WESCOM and 3WESCOM are the brainchild of Wescom CU President/CEO Darren Williams who wanted his business development officers to have vehicles that were both a novelty and practical. “Although they have been on the market for several years now, the PT Cruiser is still a head turner,” said Williams. “Our business development officers drive a lot of miles, and this is a great opportunity for them to expose the Wescom name to the Southern California market-specifically in the geographic locations where we have branches. Thousands of drivers will see the vehicles each day.” The three electric blue 2003 PT Cruiser Touring Editions were purchased through the over $2 billion credit union’s partnership with car broker Autoland at $20,000 each. The cars were then detailed with Wescom’s Web site, toll free number and such marketing messages as “Better banking in Southern California” and “Yes, Yes, Yes you can join.” According to Wescom CU Vice President of Business and Government Affairs Tom Orman, once the credit union set on this path it took about two months to make the concept a reality as they decided between the Mini Cooper and PT Cruiser. In the end the Cruiser won out not only because it was more spacious but also cost effective. According to Orman, response has been positive especially from the SEGs where Wescom’s on-site recognition has really stepped up. “Since the southern California culture is very `car obsessed’ we felt this was a great use of space to have the logo on the cars” said Orman. “We thought a lot about it and we decided to let the officers take the cars home for personal use. We just asked that they display the same attitude on the road that they would at work because it is representing the credit union. So if they want to take the car to drive to the kids soccer game, great more exposure for us- the best part is that there is no time limit because this is more a way of doing business than a marketing campaign.” While the financing for the cars comes out of the business development budget Orman says there is an overall cost benefit to providing the cars. “Before offering the cars we’d pay for mileage, so while the cost does not break even in the short term it does greatly offset our other driving related expenses,” said Orman. Although there is no empirical data available, Orman says he is confident that once the numbers are analyzed it will prove that the cars are an effective way to get out the message about the credit union to the community at large. “It is a win-win for everyone. It is positive for members to see us out there and feel good about their credit union, and for us we get great name recognition,” said Orman. Wescom CU’s outreach team will also use the Cruisers when participating in any local community events. And how does the team of three business development officers Tina Covington, Jonathan Domingo and Coleman Falco feel about no longer driving their other cars to work? They love it. According to Falco, people in the financial services industry are taking notice. Domingo enjoys his Cruiser so much that he has been working on a proposal for Orman to install his own custom stereo and plasma screen for presentations. As for Covington she says it reinforces her pride in her job especially when a potential client commented to her that Wescom is always thinking outside of the box. “I just thank God I don’t work for Oscar Meyer,” said Covington. “I would have to draw the line at driving their Weinermobile.” [email protected]

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