The key with any personal improvement goal (fitness, relational, educational) is intentionality coupled with action. For example, you can have a goal to lose 10 pounds, improve your marriage or read a self-help book. But unless you put some intentional action steps in place those goals will never happen. You will fail.

It is the same way with your brand. You can have branding goals in place (a new vision, a new tagline and even a new look) but unless you intentionally focus on improving your brand every single day branding simply becomes an overused buzzword. Branding takes work. Branding takes time. And branding takes (daily) intentionality.

Here are three things you can do to be intentional with your brand:

  1. Talk about your brand—What doesn’t get talked about doesn’t get done. Think about your all staff meetings, your department/branch meetings, your executive team meetings and even your board meetings. How much time are you spending in each of those talking about your brand? You may spend a ton of time reviewing the financials, the goals and the dashboard indicators. That’s all well and good. But are you actively and purposely talking about your credit union or bank’s brand? Your promises, your messages, your stories, your challenges. If you are not intentionally talking about your brand at every opportunity, then your brand will fail.
  1. Train your employees to your brand—Your employees living your brand does not just happen by osmosis. It takes training. But not just training on how to use your computer system or how to perform some basic service skills. You must train your employees to your brand standards. Teach them exactly what you expect them to do every time they are with a consumer. Most importantly, teach them your culture, your core values and your vision. What makes you different from the competition? Why should they care about working for you? What does it mean to be an ambassador for your financial institution? If you are not intentionally training your employees to your brand, then your brand will fail.
  2. Operationalize your brand—Many credit unions and banks fall down at this level. They develop a great vision, cool tagline and a new look. But they don’t intentionally take the next step of ensuring the brand permeates every aspect of the organization. How do you operationalize your brand? You put brand standards in place, you hold employees accountable to those standards and you measure each employee’s performance based in part on how they are living your brand. These operational standards include how employees answer the phone, how they great consumers, how long it takes them to answer a phone call and many other details. If you are not intentionally making your brand operational, then your brand will fail.

Branding is not a one time thing you simply mark off your “to do” list and then move on. You will always be doing branding—and that takes being intentional.

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