BY EVA LAMERE
Rebranding a local community credit union is not something to take lightly. Shifting the public to a totally new image can be more complicated than it might seem. See how a well-executed strategy that was clearly thought out in advance made a new identity seamless for one CU.
A rebranding campaign can be a tricky affair, fraught with the potential for failure and negative impact to the client (see Gap, Coke).
Scary as that sounds, a poorly executed rebranding of an established institution can yield even more destructive results if you’re a local community credit union that is changing its name entirely. Breaking with the established and familiar identity of the past can be jarring for long-time members – especially those who have an affinity for the established brand. It also requires a clearly thought out and well-executed strategy to shift to a new public image.
So when Oceanside Christopher asked us to refresh their nearly 47-year-old brand, our strategy to reposition them as Ocean Financial Federal Credit Union came with a laser focus on communicating that, while the name may have changed, the values of the Catholic credit union were as rock solid as ever.
First, some background: Ocean Financial, headquartered in Oceanside, N.Y., provides financial products and services to the Catholic community. Chartered in 1969 by a small group of members at the Father Joseph O’Connell Knights of Columbus (Council #3481), today it is the fourth largest Catholic credit union in the country with more than 14,000 members and $314 million in assets.