NAFCU Services Blog

Nov 28, 2013 by Julie Wessinger

Improve Member Loyalty by Differentiating the Credit Union Way

Originally posted on

Guest post written by Julie ann Wessinger, National Director of Client Performance Strategies, Allied Solutions.

Allied Solutions is the NAFCU Services Preferred Partner for Insurance—Bond, Creditor Placed (CPI), Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP), and Mechanical Breakdown (MBP); iSolutions; and rateGenius.

A well-defined brand platform is a fundamental element of any financial institution’s strategic infrastructure.

In a recent interview, Karl Speak of Minneapolis-based Brand Tool Box explained this concept in a unique way: “If the brand promise is the short story, then the brand character is the novel. It adds richness and emotional connection with its fundamental value proposition. Our experience with credit unions has been that few articulate their value proposition and brand platform focusing instead on something like lower rates, which are not big loyalty drivers. Credit unions are unlike any other financial institution—their member affinity and genuine higher purpose to help members are the two most fundamental drivers of any strong brand.”

The CU Way represents the special qualities of a credit union that differentiate it from all other financial institutions. Most members do business with a credit union because they trust the credit union. Trust, even more than lower interest rates, is the number one reason why members stay loyal to a credit union. The special trust is based upon the belief that members’ best interests will always be at the center of a credit union’s business.

Knowing how to set yourself apart may feel challenging, but Speak suggests that, “It is not just about a new name, look, or ad campaign. It is about how you strategically relate to members. The brands are built from the inside out not outside in, and with internal branding, the leadership team and employees are clear on how their credit union is different from the competitors in a language that is concise on the terms of the member not the institution.”

Consider today what ways you are working to foster stronger member bonds by building internal brand from the inside out!

Also available: Allied Growth and Innovation: Driving Member Engagement Series (Webinar Series) »

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