Birthdays. Holidays. Gamedays. There are certain dates on the calendar we block off for special occasions and celebrations. And one such day every credit union or bank should have on their schedule is Brand Day.

What’s a Brand Day? A time when you gather your entire staff together to educate, reinforce and celebrate how you are unique in the marketplace. It’s not a time to conduct compliance or BSA training but rather a time help employees better understand your brand and most importantly better understand their role in living your brand.

But how do you conduct a successful brand day? I was fortunate to be a part of Blue Eagle Credit Union’s Brand Day recently and they offer the following insights into how to hold such an event (and make no mistake about it: brand days are “events”).

Know the “why”
“You have to make sure that your brand is top of mind with your staff,” says Laurissa Grubb, director of marketing for Blue Eagle Credit Union. “In our case, a large portion of our staff has less than two years tenure with the credit union.” She went on to say that employees need to understand exactly what branding is and how they can live it.

While Blue Eagle Credit Union does ongoing operational training on a regular basis, they felt it was critical to bring all staff together to focus on their brand. The training that day gave their staff the tools to engage with rather than sell to consumers.

Focus on the details
One of the things that made Blue Eagle Credit Union’s Brand Day such a success were the details. “The little things make a huge difference,” Grubb noted. “You don’t want them to just spend eight hours here and not get anything out of it other than having a good time with their co-workers. You want value for that time.”

One small thing they did was give every employee their own customized fruit box from Eddible Arrangements. The credit union has a file on every employee’s “favorites” including their favorite fruit. So rather than give everyone the same thing, the credit union customized a gift for every employee. That’s attention to detail.

Bring in outside help
“It helps having an outside person put your brand in perspective,” Grubb says. “They hear from us on a day to day basis. While we may be saying the same thing the expert speaker takes things to a different level.”

She went on to note that the outside person brings a different level of energy and gets your staff rejuvenated and refreshed.

Involve executives
The brand day is not about the outside speaker. It’s about your brand and your leadership. One thing we did was have Blue Eagle Credit Union’s management team come prepared with examples of what the vision is, how their staff was living the brand and what the brand meant to them.

“We couldn’t get them to shut up,” Grubb laughs. One of the most powerful aspects of the day was that unsolicited each manager got up and spoke about individual team members in a positive way: what they meant to them, how they were making a difference and stories about outstanding service. “It’s easy to think of the negative but we were reminded that day of all the things we do so well,” Grubb added.

Use a unique venue
Rather than hold their Brand Day at their credit union’s office, Blue Eagle Credit Union conducted their big event at a brewery. You read that right: they held it at Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers. While beer was not served during the event, the unusual location set the tone for the day.

“We looked for a fun venue because it set the stage and atmosphere for training,” Grubb said. “The fun factor was important.” There was even a cornhole game that everyone could play during breaks. Part of the training included a Blue Eagle Brand Jeopardy game we created and customized for the event.

So does all this “fun” and “brand training” impact the bottom line? Why invest the dollars into having a Brand Day? Because according to a study from McLean & Company, a disengaged employee costs an organization approximately $3,400 for every $10,000 in annual salary. So someone making $30,000 a year at your financial institution who is disengaged with your brand costs you over $10,000 on the bottom line per year—and that is just one employee. Imagine the revenue you can produce and savings you can earn by getting your staff engaged with your brand.

There are certain times of year when you pull your staff together for training activities. Turn those training days into Brand Days.

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