As credit unions have expanded and merged over the past decade, whether to implement a multiple brand or single brand has become a critical strategic discussion. Executive teams and marketing professionals want the best way to capitalize on brand equity. This is especially true during mergers or field of membership changes.
In today’s environment, it is important credit unions recognize the importance of brand value. Merger activity – which combines diverse pools of membership – is heating up. Merged institutions must determine how to achieve greater economies of scale and deliver financial services more effectively. To do this, they must identify a clear brand strategy, as one size might not fit all audiences, especially if both brands have strong local ties and community value
For some credit unions, two brands have proven to be better than one. 66 Federal Credit Union maintains three separate brands in four states, each appealing to different audiences. Originally serving Phillips 66, the credit union learned early on its brand was not appropriate for the newly merged Conoco Phillips company and its employees in Houston. Its core membership in Oklahoma, however, related strongly to the 66 FCU brand. When 66 FCU merged with a credit union serving the University of Kansas, it was clear neither of the energy brands would work for the school’s students or faculty. So the credit union developed a new brand that resonates with the KU audience. Despite the disparity in membership, all three brands still tie back to a single financial institution: 66 FCU.