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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For Ent Federal Credit Union revamping its brand was just a question of when, not if it should be done. “I think we were in a unique situation- typically a rebranding starts with a problem in the organization and you need new training or new services before going out with the message,” said Ent FCU Senior Vice President Corporate Communications and Development Jim Moore. “What our research revealed is that the organization and employees are doing a great job, but there was a disconnect in accurately communicating that. So our message about this rebranding to employees is keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll find ways to bring the quality of our marketing communications up to the quality level of service they are already delivering.” Moore says the final rebrand is the result of a multiyear effort to improve across the board- a process that was completed about a year ago with a data processor conversion. In discussions of what was needed to grow in a way that was consistent with the core mission of serving members better and providing greater access to products and services an online research initiative was launched last fall involving members, employees and nonmembers. The credit union tapped local public relations/marketing firm PRACO to gauge just what was the perception of the credit union in the areas it is chartered to serve. Moore says the results were rather enlightening. “For our members there was a strong loyalty especially with longer term members who have stories of when they first started with the credit union. While they were concerned with CU growth, they still said they experienced high quality personal service; newer members with us about five to 10 years didn’t have the quite the same loyalty but have a high value of what growth provides in terms of access and broadening the service network,” said Moore. “What was interesting is that both employees and members expressed that the personal and service interactions are what is valued most and that service is what they associate with belonging to the credit union. As we looked out at non-members and the marketplace, we realized that we were not clearly communicating that experience.” Moore adds that the existing marketing actually created perceived barriers for members and non-members to consider Ent as their financial partner. “We knew we didn’t want to change the name because there was a lot of recognition there, so in discussions with the marketing firm we decided that something short and punchy and direct would work best in conveying what it means to belong to a credit union,” said Moore. Moore adds the result goes beyond a new logo, which features a stylized “E” surrounded by a solid red circle and tagline Ent – Where you belong. “It is about being consistent in everything from messages on the Web site and brochures to all marketing materials and lobby posters, signs and reinforcing the message of what it means to belong to Ent and speaks to the reasons why they should join in text as well as graphics,” said Moore. For example a current radio spot discusses “the bank of the future” as follows: “The bank of the future is not a bank at all. Because the future belongs to a financial institution that is simply more flexible, more personal and more effective than a bank could ever be. The future, in fact, belongs to a credit union. But not just any credit union. A credit union that defines its size by the size of the opportunities and conveniences it provides its members. That measures its strength by its ability to empower you to pursue your dreams. The future belongs to a credit union that provides everything, everywhere. A credit union with a short, simple name. And a short, simple mission: To enrich the lives of the people who belong. The future belongs to Ent. And once you join Ent, the future belongs to you. Ent. Where you belong.” Described as just the first phase to introduce the new approach and build awareness, the campaign is also designed to more effectively reach and appeal to the important 18-30 year old market. The move includes the adoption of a new creative look and feel, which seems more like miniature works of art, for all of its collateral and advertising. “We are fairly typical in the industry in that the average age of our members has crepted up over time and one specific component of this rebranding is developed to speak to younger members and although we have some youth oriented programs we still need to be addressing that group as they get started in their financial lives,” said Moore. “On the whole we’re pleased with the new approach and while any reaction now is anecdotal we’ve received very positive unsolicited comments about the clean lines and fresh look.” While the public persona will be the punchy Ent -the organization’s legal name remains Ent Federal Credit Union. [email protected]

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