The ideal brand for any business is one so strong that both employees and customers shout it from the roof tops. Bossier Federal Credit Union ($110 million, Louisiana) did the next best thing. It created a brand manifesto.Bossier fcu

All credit unions have great stories to tell. Bossier FCU’s branding example is one other credit unions can follow. It’s a story about proclaiming, living and promoting a brand. It’s a story about a credit union which demonstrates every day the idea that you don’t have to be a big financial institution to make big things happen. If they can do it, so can you.

The story really begins about two or three years ago when the credit union re-branded itself, creating the tagline “Beyond Banking…This is Personal.” It didn’t just slap its tagline on marketing pieces and call it quits, because that is not true branding. Branding about establishing a message consistent with how members perceive your organization. As a result of the re-branding, the credit union changed the way it hired people. It changed the way it treated people. It became a credit union that went beyond banking at every touch point. But what does that really mean?

That is what the brand manifesto would define. Much like a traditional manifesto, which is a public proclamation of values or principles, a brand manifesto proclaims the values or principles of a specific brand. For Bossier, this was the next step in the branding process. It was an opportunity for the credit union to really define and clarify its message to members. It was about creating something that would stand the test of time.

It started with focus groups. If you’ve ever been through a focus group process, you know how common it is for employee perceptions to be vastly different from member perceptions. The exact opposite happened with Bossier. PTP New Media conducted focus group with the executive team, members and the remaining employees, and everyone was on the same page. The consensus was that Bossier really does go beyond banking to make it personal for its members. PTP used actual words and quotes from the focus groups to develop the five points that define Bossier FCU’s manifesto:

  •  We wear our brand on our sleeve. We are real people.
  • Loyalty and trust can never be bought. They’re only earned.
  • We are a financial institution second and your personal concierge first.
  • Progression is important and complacency is a four letter word.
  • Going beyond is our status quo. You can hold us to that.

This post is only part of a bigger, better story. Read the rest of it in the June issue of my monthly e-zine. You do not want to miss this account about a small credit union that serves an example for an entire industry.

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