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CHICAGO – The winds of change have reached United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union and for the first time in 68 years the credit union has changed its name. It is now known as Alliant CU. The name change is part of the $4.5 billion credit union’s new branding initiative that plays up the concept of unity, connection and reliance to better represent its dedication to United employees and its expanded membership, which includes some 250,000 households in 19 Chicago suburbs near O’Hare Airport. Since 2003 Alliant CU has worked with a branding firm to help develop not only a new name but revamp its image. “We wanted something fresh, modern with warmth and had a personality to it that would get the message across that we are not your grandfathers’ credit union and you can rely on us to stay strong, grow and be competitive,” said Alliant CU Senior Communications Specialist Christine Cedusky. “It was also important to us to have the blue in the logo to keep that connection to our United history and playing on the words all, alliance and reliant. Alliance and reliable are familiar to our United members with such programs as the star alliance group and reliability is a key word in the airline industry.” Some 240 names were explored before selecting Alliant and a new logo featuring three joined circles in varying shades of blue on a black background was designed to visually reinforce the value found in cooperative efforts and the idea of being connected. Although materials with the new Alliant CU brand will be rolled out over the next few months, Cedusky says once the name change decision was made the credit union made a point to start educating members about it early. Since last fall Alliant CU began informing members a name change was in the works. In January, the official name was launched via special statement inserts; articles in United Airlines employee and retiree publications, a new Web site and phone message scripts. Each piece paid homage to the credit union’s long history with United and emphasized the need for growth and positioned the name change as “another step forward in the continued success of our credit union.” “We took special care with our retiree group and explained to them how we had to change the name to stay competitive and that growth supports our service philosophy,” said Cedusky. “We also made sure they understand that we are still catering to our United group. We will continue to offer the airplane image check and debit cards they like and all our service centers are staying in United.” According to Cedusky so far member response to the new name has been positive. “In the past few weeks we’ve seen some call volume increase at the call centers but not as much as we had anticipated and I think it’s because of how well we’ve prepared the staff,” said Cedusky. “Members just want assurances that the service they’ve received and come to expect from their credit union won’t change.” Cedusky says there are no immediate plans for mass advertising. “We are not really a community credit union, so for now we are more concerned with targeting select employee groups that fit our infrastructure,” said Cedusky. [email protected]

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