|National Credit Union
The new National Credit Union Brand logo -- shown here -- is a simple way for credit unions to collectively market the benefits of membership to America's consumers.
Credit unions across the country are already using the logo on newsletters, in their lobbies, and on their Web sites to "brand" the credit union movement. New television ads featuring the logo are now running in multiple Ohio markets.
The 24-member CUNA board of directors unanimously approved the new branding campaign in June 1999. CUNA distributed branding launch kits to credit unions and leagues across the country in late August 1999. The purpose of the campaign is to create a consistent national brand identity that credit unions, leagues, and related organizations can use locally.
"The brand strategy is designed to make more consumers aware of credit unions," said Mark Wolff, CUNAs senior vice president of communications. "And from awareness and understanding, it will prompt consumers to action to join a credit union or use it more frequently, and ideally become advocates."
CUNA conducted exhaustive research in its attempt to create a universally recognized credit union brand. The national trade association hired consultants to conduct 22 focus groups in 11 cities across the country. Six additional focus groups were used to select the final brand from five alternatives.
The new national brand, shown above, is red, white, and blue, and features five hands linked together to form a star in the middle. The hands represented to focus group participants the joining of people, mutual support, and humanistic principles. The incorporation of a human visual element in the symbol was very important to people, and was consistent with their perception of credit unions, and the difference between credit unions and other financial institutions. The logos colors, and the star in the middle, are designed to represent a level of patriotism associated with "Americas Credit Unions."
"A brand is simply a promise," said Dan Mica, president and CEO of CUNA and Affiliates. "And for the brand to be successful, the promise must be kept. The promise of the credit union brand is to put service before profit and integrity behind that service. The credit union brand is creating a relationship of trust between members and their credit unions."
Credit unions received both CD-ROM and paper-based logo art, usage guidelines and an idea brochure, the strategy for the branding campaign, and a 10-minute video explaining the campaign. The video will be good to show to staff and volunteer leadership, and to use at chapter meetings.
Ohio Credit Union League President Paul Mercer applauded the process used by CUNA to develop the new national credit union brand. "A great deal of time and energy was devoted to this project," said Mercer. "It is now up to us as a unified movement to promote this new, very powerful, credit union brand. For the credit union brand to be successful, it must be repeated frequently to the public, legislators, and the media."
If you have questions, call Becky Hart, Ohio Credit Union League Communications Director, at 800-486-2917, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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