Banks and credit unions spend a lot of time talking about branding. And for good reason. Yes, your collateral materials are a piece of this puzzle (so if you took the title of this article literally, you can get the posters and brochures out of the trashcan).

What you cannot do, however, is in any way rely on your collateral materials to fully represent the brand. Your brand is, quite simply, your people. You can have the very best collateral materials in the world, from billboards and commercials to social media presence and a NASCAR sponsorship. But none of it matters if your staff does not connect with the brand and, in turn, share that connection with your consumers.

Banks and credit unions spend plenty of time and money on collateral materials. Some of that is necessary. But a good portion of that money is better invested in brand training for your staff.

Brand training helps ensure your staff is more fully in-touch with and eager to live out key elements of your brand with consumers. Brand training also helps align the elements of your brand plan that in turn, help put your credit union or bank on the road to success.

Posters are great and brochures are fine. What you don’t want are people working in your bank or credit union that must automatically refer to some type of printed cheat-sheet to help them through a consumer question. During a recent marketing audit mystery shop, a teller at one credit union, when asked if she had any brochures to review, replied simply “No. I am the brochure.”

Wouldn’t it be great if every staff member at your bank or credit union could say the same thing?

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