JMC branding article on the cover of TFCU

The Magic of Great BrandingCredit unions are learning a thing or two from great brands like Starbucks, Zappos and Southwest, according to “The Magic of Great Branding,” an article by Jay Morris that appears on the cover of the latest issue of The Federal Credit Union magazine.

While credit unions may be small financial institutions with limited marketing budgets, the branding experts and credit union executives Morris interviewed said that brand identity is the number one differentiator in a crowded and increasingly commoditized marketplace.

“Whether they like it or not, all businesses—not just credit unions—are being judged by consumers based on the customer experiences they’ve had with iconic brands like Amazon or Apple,” said Morris. “That makes branding and developing a culture that delivers superior member service all the more compelling in today’s hyper-competitive environment.”

For the article, Morris not only talked to experts, but he asked credit union CEOs and executives to identify the national brands they liked and how those brands have influenced their thinking. He also described how a credit union’s core values can impact and shape its brand.

For example, here are six branding principles, courtesy of Daryl Travis, CEO of Brandtrust Inc., who was interviewed for the article. (To learn more about these principles, see Morris’ recent blog post on The Wayward Journey.)

  1. Brands are about feelings and not facts.
  2. Branding is the most powerful, yet most misunderstood, business strategy.
  3. The brand is not part of the business; it is the business.
  4. The little things you do are more important than the big things you say.
  5. Every brand tells a story. How will yours be told?
  6. There are brand ideals.

To read more about branding, download a PDF of the cover story, or visit the digital edition of the November-December 2013 issue of The Federal Credit Union.

The Federal Credit Union magazine is published by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and has a circulation of over 6,500 credit union executives, managers and volunteers.