CUNA is now America's Credit Unions.
A stronger voice to advance the credit union industry.
LaShanta Green hit the ground running in June 2021 after joining what’s now Dow Credit Union in Midland, Mich. Her charge: choreograph, create, and drive forward a rebranding in 15 months. As director of marketing and community relations at the $2.1 billion asset credit union, she juggled the avalanche of details and came out the other side as the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council’s 2023 Rising Star.
LaShanta Green: Marketing is an art. The core of my role consists of using my sense of curiosity, crafting stories, and caring for the needs of various stakeholders. I get to identify and showcase solutions. Creating connections and immersing myself in the community as a career is an opportunity I’m grateful to have.
A: The rebrand consisted of observations and operations, and overseeing many tasks and mini projects. It was the best way to learn about the credit union’s who, what, where, how, and why. Our goal was to strengthen our brand by simplifying it.
A brand is more than a logo, name, fonts, and colors. However, the intentional and consistent use of those brand attributes is essential. We’re now more mission-minded, and can cast a vision based on the core values we’ve identified. We live and work by them daily. Our internal team, partners, members, and community championed our success throughout.
A: The biggest challenge was finding the perfect balance and blend of the big picture and necessary nuances while navigating many new things. Our rebrand project was about setting the foundation of our forward direction as a brand and organization. Change can be complicated and complex. Communication was vital. I’ll always look back at this project as a career- and character-building exercise.
A: Absolutely. It’s rare for an organization to work on a project where success depends on every member of the team. Whether working on operations behind the scenes, or learning and embracing our new vision, mission, and values, everyone had a role and an opportunity to contribute and champion the change.
Our in-house subject matter experts served as leaders and built our structure for success. Our front-line staff created an essential feedback view that allowed us to get real-time reactions on how the rebrand resonated with our members. Because of our people, we positioned ourselves as the aspirational brand we desire to be.
A: It takes time to calculate measurable results for marketing efforts, but our return on engagement for the rebrand is quite evident. We’re more visible than ever before, we use our brand consistently, and we can clearly define our brand, community, and success pillars. Those are meaningful metrics, and I’m confident our strategic growth will be rooted in our foundational work.
A: Start early and slow down to speed up. Don’t base your decisions only on a timeline, and don’t dwell on details that won’t have a meaningful impact on your membership or the team’s morale. Our members are our owners. The more you get and maintain stakeholder excitement throughout the process, the more likely they’ll be to embrace change.
Trust your talent and teams. Involve and include people. Most importantly, seek out others’ expertise. We’re structured lean, and we were still able to create some legacy-level work with our trusted partners’ participation.
Equip your team with the tools and templates to project and protect the brand. The creative and consistent use of the brand should lead to measurable and meaningful growth.