On her first day of work at Louisiana Federal Credit Union 10 years ago, management tasked Mia Perez with executing a marketing makeover for the organization.
But instead of running a one-and-done campaign, she took a deeper dive, modernizing the look and feel of branches and developing a comprehensive branding plan.
Perez made it clear: “We will run no campaigns, we will create no promotions, we will buy no billboards, we will run no commercials until the house is clean. That meant defining our culture, values, and processes.”
It didn’t take long for the results to appear. Loan applications quickly doubled, and in the past 10 years, the LaPlace, La., credit union’s assets doubled to nearly $214 million.
“Brand has everything to do with how we look, how we treat people, the emotions we evoke, and the products we offer,” says Perez, who today is the credit union’s chief administrative officer.
Since her arrival, the credit union has set service standards for employees and implemented Net Promoter® Score methodologies, a management tool Louisiana Federal uses to measure the strength and depth of its member relationships.
Perez and her team are working on a cultural evaluation project with cross-departmental teams to create programs supporting the credit union’s core values.
For example, to strengthen the credit union’s commitment to compassion, employees came up with a program called Heart Hours, in which Louisiana Federal gives every employee 12 paid hours a year of “heart time” to use however they find personally worthwhile.
Perez doesn’t hesitate when asked about the most fulfilling aspect of her job.
“What’s most rewarding is not seeing the results on a scorecard, but seeing the results and growth in the people I work with,” Perez says. “They have been humble. They have been hungry. Those are the two qualities that make a successful contributor to a team.”