BY KENNETH C. BATOR
Is your credit union contemplating a name change? Such a decision shouldn’t be undertaken lightly, but it can be the right one in certain situations. Keep reading to see how rebranding helped one CU not only completely reprioritize but also stand out from the crowd and soar to new heights. In contrast, see why one CU chose an acronym instead of renaming.
One of the primary brand associations of any business is its name. But what if that name starts to become a hindrance to your overall B+C+S Formula? What if it begins to detract, rather than add, to the “B” – your Brand? What if it starts causing negative ripples through the “C” – your Culture – because some staff want a name change and others don’t? What if it stagnates the “S” – your Strategy – because the name is an obstacle among certain target markets? The kneejerk reaction may be to begin the process of a name change. But even in these situations, that isn’t always the best path to take.
It was the right path for UMe Federal Credit Union, however. “Becoming UMe clarified our priorities,” states the CU’s CEO, Robert Einstein. “Once we determined that the relationship between us and our members – You plus Me – was the very core of everything we are, we began to care more about every touch point, every detail and every member interaction.”
Before the credit union became UMe about five years ago, it was known as Burbank Community FCU. Robert laughs as he tells stories about how prospective members and job candidates who were coming in for interviews would go to a credit union with a similar name on the same street instead. Many even thought it was a branch. Apparently even the paramedics went to the other credit union by mistake during an emergency call. Robert’s credit union needed a new identity.