SAN ANTONIO — A nationally recognized marketing expert reversedsome myths for CU executives attending PSCU Financial Services' workshop lastweek.

|

Stan Slap, a leadingmarketing and business consultant and bestselling author of “BuryMy Heart at Conference Room 8,” told the executives that threeelements are key to their marketing and growth efforts through thecurrent economic downturn.

|

First, CUs should understand that they do not create theirbrand, their members do and that the brand encompasses not justtheir products and services but how they conduct business, Slapsaid.

|

Second, CU executives have to recognize that the first peoplethey need to have accept and promote their messages and goals arethe CU's employees, a group Slap referred to as the employeeculture of any organization.

|

Third, Slap explained how passion in a product and how it isdelivered serves to both spark new company brands and protectexisting ones from fading and disappearing.

|

He described how branding has been short changed by too manyexecutives who misunderstand it as something that flows frommarketing. In reality, marketers sell the brand but do not createit, he said. A CU's members create a CU's brand, as a gift and areaction to the CU's products and, most importantly, how the CUtreats them.

|

“It's not just having a world-class product,” he said. “Anyoneof your competitors could come with a world-class product. It's howyour members access that product that has to be completely originaland game changing.”

|

Slap likened brand to faith, arguing that it is more than merelymembers' trust in their CU, it is the members' belief in the CUeven though they might not have knowledge of the CU's immediateactions or motives.

|

He used the Apple corporation as an example of an incrediblyenduring brand that commands deep loyalty from its customers. “Ifyou have a strong brand, you will build the sort of structure thatwill persist into the future,” Slap said.

|

Slap focused on the role the process plays in obtaining a CU'sproduct or service as an important brand builder because a CUsprocess of working with its members cannot be replaced or copied byany competitors. Further, the CU that members see through itsprocesses is something they experience directly versus as throughadvertising. Consumers are now virtually immune to advertising as away of conveying anything really meaningful about a company, bothbecause advertising's ubiquity and because so much of it has overpromised and under delivered, he added. He used as an example somewell-known brand advertising that would be sharply different ifthere were strict truth in advertising laws, such as “Macy's: Youhate us. We hate you. It's on sale.”

|

CUs also need to understand that the first people who will startto build the CU's brand are its employees, not its members, becauseof something Slap called employee culture.

|

Employee culture is something almost all CEOs misunderstand andtend to disregard because they stand outside it. The goals ofemployee culture are self-preservation and emotional prosperity,but for itself and not necessarily for management or the CU,” Slapexplained.

|

“There isn't much that goes on that the culture doesn't knowabout; it's always watching, always gathering and siftinginformation, always looking at you. It knows when you've beennaughty. It knows when you've been nice. It knows where your kidsgo to school. It knows everything,” he said, adding “it is anextraordinary information gathering culture.”

|

Because it is such an efficient organism, it is vital that a CUsleadership practice what it explains to its employees about itsactivities. Employees will implement the CUs strategy so they needto be inspired and excited first, he added.

|

Slap called passion about a product or service and its process avital element to launching a successful, lasting company with astrong brand. 

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to CUTimes.com, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical CUTimes.com information including comprehensive product and service provider listings via the Marketplace Directory, CU Careers, resources from industry leaders, webcasts, and breaking news, analysis and more with our informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and CU Times events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including Law.com and GlobeSt.com.
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.