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CHANTILLY, Va. – While most credit unions are reinventing themselves with some creative sometimes outlandish name changes, Justice Federal Credit Union found its unique brand by dipping into its past. “I guess this whole branding adventure started backwards because initially we just wanted to update and redesign our Web site,” said Justice FCU Vice President of Marketing/ Business Development Karen Rosales. The $311 credit union turned to Hollister, California-based marketing communications firm Redbeard Communications for the revamped site but Rosales says as they worked on the site it became apparent that a brand change and new focus was also needed. Justice FCU then took a multifaceted approach to gather data from both traditional and online member surveys to employee feedback on what the credit union stands for and through the exploration process discovered just what distinguishes the credit union from the competition. “We found that our members value the fact that we exclusively serve justice and law enforcement agencies and their communities and their trust in us is closely tied to that relationship- yet we were presenting ourselves as JFCU,” said Rosales. The solution was found in getting back to its roots by bringing Justice to the forefront. Rosales adds that while it was a slow and long journey over some 14 months, the branding process has helped “crystalize the credit union’s purpose”. “The challenge for us was for everyone to be on the same page,” said Rosales. “We are all very proud that we have the privilege of serving this great group but each person brings his or her own perspective to the brand so it was important that we keep peeling away the layers until we could present a unified idea of just what our image is. Sometimes that means walking away from the table without a consensus and getting back to it later.” Since the credit union took its time in reaching a decision and made sure to involve employees and members at every stage Rosales says the final “reveal” won’t be a shock. To help ease members into the change the credit union has started to refer to itself as Justice FCU instead of JFCU. In April the new logo will be featured on the Web site and in printed materials. The logo has been refreshed by trading in the old teal and purple colors for a “police uniform” blue and positioning the word “Justice” in a larger font next to the scales of justice. According to Rosales the new look also strongly reinforces the old tagline, “Serving justice across the nation.” There is also a shift in the style of marketing. “We used to focus on a singular image and although it was effective with the new brand we’re redirecting our marketing to play up our relationship with members so we’re using more images of people engaged in activities to show that throughout every member life stage Justice FCU is there,” said Rosales. “This has been such a fun learning experience and it is great to see it come to life.” [email protected]

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