In this hyper-competitive financial services environment, many argue that developing a strong brand is critical for success. OSU Federal Credit Union ($400M in Corvallis, OR) expanded beyond its two county region in 2002 and identified that transition as an opportunity to evaluate its brand.
“We realized we needed to deliver a stronger message that we were a community credit union,” said Laurie Russell, marketing director. The credit union held focus groups with members and non-members and learned important information. “We found that there was a lot of equity in our name and we didn’t want to lose that.” OSU FCU preserved its name but modified its logo and changed its tagline to “Your Community Credit Union.”
But developing one’s brand goes far beyond modifying a logo and a tagline. “It’s an ongoing process,” said Russell. The credit union constantly asks itself two key questions:
What is the member experience?
How do we want members to feel when they are serviced?
OSU FCU regularly conducts member surveys to find out what members think. “It helps us to know what members think and want, and we adapt to those needs accordingly,” said Russell.
OSU FCU’s most recent initiative is to evaluate the organization’s strategic drivers. The management team came together and determined that among all factors such as product, price and convenience, great service is its key driver. “Our next phase is to bring the entire staff into the process and develop trainings and other initiatives to continually improve and refine our great service,” said Russell.
Four years since its initial phase of brand development, OSU Federal Credit Union exceeds its peer group in several categories. It reports over 6% member growth and over 60% share draft penetration.