There are lots of ways we look at our brands. We look at our brands in the mirror. We look at our brands from the outside. We look at our brands from the inside. But are we seeing our brand in the right way?3D Branding

One of the best ways to see your brand is in 3D. While it doesn’t take the latest technology or goofy glasses, examining your brand in 3D yields positive results. It helps make sure your brand is headed in the right direction.

There is a 3D test you can take to make sure your credit union or bank’s brand is strong, growing and thriving. Here are the three “Ds”:

(1) Define (who to reach)

Who is your financial institution trying to reach? You cannot be all things to all people. As Seth Godin says, “The way you break through to the mainstream is target a niche instead of a huge market.” Refining your targets tightens your focus, which is a must for an effective brand. Whether it is minorities, the underserved, small businesses, small office/home office (SOHO), young adults, mompreneurs or another niche find your specialty and immerse yourself in those communities. Here’s a hint: don’t try to reach an entire community; rather focus on a key subset.

(2) Discuss (with your staff)

Your brand is only as strong as your staff. How can your staff “live the brand” if you are not actively discussing it with them? Does your staff know—truly know—what your financial institution is about? Subsequently, do they live it on a daily basis? Make sure you are routinely training your staff on what branding is and the key role they play. Here’s a hint: every time you have a staff or departmental meeting, spend some time talking about what your brand and give examples of employees who are actively living it.

(3) Detail (everything matters)

Dave Olsen, Starbucks chief coffee guru, once famously said, “everything matters.” That certainly applies to financial institution’s brands as well. Everything affects your brand: your logo, your branches, your tellers, your website, your CEO, your newsletter and your dress code. The best brands focus on the details and don’t let anything go unnoticed. Here’s a hint: give your brand a “bathroom smell check.” In other words, what are your bathrooms communicating about your brand (remember, everything matters).

Taking this simple 3D test will quickly gauge how your brand is doing: do you have a defined niche, are you discussing your brand regularly with your employees and are paying attention to the details? The more you look at your brand in 3D, the better you and consumers will see your brand.