Mia Perez

PODCAST: Speak consumers’ language

Focus your brand promise on the member journey.

March 9, 2017

When consumers at a testing session she witnessed delivered unfavorable reviews of Louisiana Federal Credit Union’s award-winning website, Chief Administrative Officer Mia Perez was “devastated.”

“We thought we were doing a really good job,” Perez, vice chair of the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council, tells the CUNA News Podcast. “But it was a revelation when we were able to see that all this work and time and money we had invested in this channel was falling by the wayside because it wasn’t digestible. We were not speaking to the average consumer.”

Almost instantly, Louisiana Federal switched course from having zero intentions of modifying its website to committing to a full-scale overhaul within nine months.

Confusing industry jargon and acronyms were scrapped in favor of clear, simple terms exemplified by a navigation bar offering options such as bank, borrow, and invest, and aspirational pathways such as “I’d like to buy a car or lower my payment.”

The new  “really speaks to the consumer and the buying journey they’re on,” Perez says. “We didn’t put it together based on how we thought it should work and flow. We listened to what the testing audience told us. We're really positioning ourselves as a solutions provider.”

Crucially, the credit union paired the website overhaul with interrelated changes on the operational side because, Perez notes, delivering on a brand promise requires all aspects of the operation to work in unison.

"Everything we do in our organization touches brand—who you hire, the look and feel of our brick-and-mortar space, the quality of the product itself, the overall consumer experience," she says. "Marketing has a hand in every single one of those components."

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