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ROCHESTER, Minn. -IBM Employees Midwest Federal Credit Union has raised a few potential members’ eyebrows while sending longtime IBMers down memory lane with its name change to THINK FCU. “We wanted to pay homage to our IBM roots and THINK has been a very successful internal IBM slogan since introduced by IBM CEO Thomas Watson Senior in 1914,” said Senior Vice President of Marketing Tom Floyd.”There used to be THINK notepads, the internal employee THINK magazine and the like so we realized that it would suit our need to honor our IBM beginnings while also being unique and cutting through the clutter of the marketplace.” Working with local Brand Naming firm Taggert Inc., the name change has been in the works for about two years. Originally formed in 1961, the credit union primarily served IBM employees in the Midwest region and started to diversify about 10 years ago by adding affiliate SEGs. “We weren’t pressured to change our name. It is just that we found that the old name was creating confusion for people who wanted to join but didn’t have a connection with IBM,” said Floyd. “While we are fortunate to have such a strong brand name it cuts both ways and it hasn’t spoken to what we do as a credit union so we needed to move forward with a new brand and the time is right to make the change and build from there.” The $1.1 billion credit union held several blind focus groups, which included a random sample mix of IBM employees, credit union staffers, and members and non-members to test the new name and THINK resonated the best and denoted creativity and innovation. “We asked the groups how do they feel about the word THINK, then how do they feel about it connected to a company then connected to a financial institution and so on,” said Floyd. “What we found is the consistent theme that consumers are not as concerned with a name changing as long as they understand the reasons behind it and that they were not losing the services they were accustomed to experiencing. Name changes linked to financial services were received with a bit of skepticism because the usual reason is because of a merger or takeover.” With that in mind direct mailings were sent to members a month in advance announcing the change and clearly explaining that only the name has changed -the value and quality will remain the same. The new name goes into effect on July 1. Floyd says so far feedback has ranged from “that’s an interesting name” to a wonderful letter from one of the seven original charter members who loves the name and says it brought tears to his eyes. For the new logo designed internally, Floyd says again they looked to the past by incorporating their signature eagle and keeping the same color palette. According to Floyd, the green and silver denote strength and security, which is further reinforced by the credit union’s tagline of “Thoughtful service. Lasting value.” On July 1, the credit union will kick off the name change celebration in all branches and hold drawings for new THINK FCU items. From there, the name campaign will initially focus on direct mail, newspaper advertising, and community event participation in the Rochester area and include Kansas and Chicago. To highlight that the brand name equals service plans are underway to build a media campaign around actual member testimonials. “Ideally when consumers see THINK FCU they will hopefully feel that they can trust us to take care of them and that we offer them real value now and into the future,” said Floyd. [email protected]

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