Branding is about more than just marketing to consumers. It’s about developing a promise that helps the organization connect with its members through employee engagement and interaction.
That’s the word from “Promises, Promises: How to Ensure Your Financial Institution Lives Up to its Brand,” a white paper from The Members Group (TMG).
“A brand promise is the statement you make to consumers that identifies what they should expect for all interactions with your people, products, services and company,” says branding expert Jean Wilcox.
Once a brand promise is developed, credit unions must make sure it remains consistent with both the credit union’s consumer experience goals and what members want.
That’s where having a brand champion can be helpful.
“It’s so important to have designated brand champions who lead by example, continually reinforcing the brand promise and evaluating how it’s working day-to-day,” says Georgann Smith, TMG’s vice president of marketing.
Strategies brand champions can use to reinforce the brand promise include:
• Promoting the credit union’s brand promise among staff in all aspects, including hiring, training, performance goals, and professional development;
• Establishing a cross-functional team to build a branding program; and
• Pursuing ongoing support from executives and board members for the branding effort.
Brand champions can also use tactical methods such as:
1. Developing internal communication, such as a newsletter or intranet, that allows employees to spotlight each other when someone fulfills the brand promise;
2. Setting up performance indicators to keep track of fulfillment or measure the effectiveness of the brand promise’s execution;
3. Encouraging meetings to discuss both successes and failures of the brand promise;
4. Adding the brand promise to internal monitors;
5. Including the brand promise in presentations to get leaders used to incorporating it into their thought processes; and
6. Inserting the brand promise into the employee onboarding program for new employees and training sessions for long-term employees.