Love it or hate it, it’s definitely full-swing political campaign season in America. Candidates on both sides will spend ridiculous amounts of money and time trying to sway voters in their favor.

To differentiate amongst ideologies and compete for limited media sound-bite time, candidates often develop a core branding message. Republican 2016 front-runner Donald Trump, for example, has cornered the market on “Make America Great Again.” Bernie Sanders favors “A political revolution is coming.”

We also touched briefly on this subject early this year before primary season hit full-swing.

While discussing presidential campaign logos, a New Republic article gives three tips that could just as easily apply to the brand message of your bank or credit union.

  • Your brand must embody an “essence of personality” and evoke an intended emotional response. In other words, your bank or credit union brand must offer the completely distilled, 99-proof version of who you are and what you do. Are you fast? Are you reliable? Are you friendly? Whatever your brand professes, your staff must live it. And the brand itself must also elicit some type of emotional response. Yes, emotions in banking are tricky, but not impossible. Your angle might be consumer relief in finally finding an institution they can trust, excitement over that first home loan or the warm fuzzy that comes from successfully saving for your childrens’ college education.
  • Your brand must be timeless and memorable. You don’t want a brand that sounds terrific today but won’t work in a few months or few years. You can’t tie your brand to something date-specific or topical, cool or trendy at the time. For example, if you tied your brand to a “swinging disco” feel in the 1970s, it might not translate well today. Go for the ephemeral.
  • Regardless of the medium, your brand must perform in a wide range of formats. Your brand must translate into all possible mediums. For example, does it perform well in print? How does it work on broadcast media? And how does it look and feel when positioned on social media platforms? Finally and most importantly, how does your brand translate through that most important of mediums — your staff?

It seems like we are always in some kind of political season and the 2016 general election is still months away. So hunker down and get ready for lots of mudslinging. In the meantime, give some thought to how your brand can learn from the presidential branding examples of the past and present and how you can use these ideas to better it.