When there’s a bank or credit union on every street corner and low rates are just a click away, finding what makes YOUR financial brand unique is critical. Trying to compete with low loan rates or high deposit rates is like trying to capture sunshine in a butterfly net. And members who might be rate-shopping may not be the best fit for your brand. Their new deposit might help boost your product growth numbers, but are those members truly profitable? How much effort does it take to gain a larger share of their wallet?
What if you spent those resources on finding members who connect with your culture? We’re all craving more personal human interactions as services become more digitized. Why not aim for those potential members who value what your community bank or credit union has to offer on the human side of the equation?
YOU know you’re not just another financial institution. It’s time to share your uniqueness. You’ll gain members looking for a relationship instead of the lowest rates. A relationship which enables people helping people.
This is when you need to ACT – be Authentic, Consistent and Transparent.
Showing the true personality or culture of your organization will bring in members & customers who align more closely with your values. Being authentic also creates less friction for crafting content, messaging, and allows for better service. Don’t feel as polished or fancy as the bank down the road? That’s OK! There are people out there who want a more ‘real’ experience! Was your credit union created for teachers or first responders? Own it! Even if you are now community-based, people love hearing origin stories. Remember it’s easier to just be who you are than to keep trying to be that credit union or bank you see as your competition!
Refining, then maintaining, an authentic style and voice across all touchpoints develops trust, especially among prospective members. For when everything looks and feels the same, a sense of familiarity develops. If an element does not follow the branding, people begin to question the source, which is critical in the finanicial space. People definitely want stability, consistency, and credibility from their financial institutions. Any easy way to do this is through a style guide. See these articles for more info: Just What Is A Style Guide Anyway? & How A Style Guide Can Boost Your Brand And Save You Money
People respond more positively to seeing the true nature of the business and those who run it. Let people see ‘behind the curtain’ – how decisions get made, what happens in the loan approval process, when the branches have meetings to share member stories or ‘pep rallies’. If mistakes happen, own them and do so with a human voice, not corporate-speak. Show the more human side of the organization and you guessed it, you’ll be creating trust as you start to separate your credit union or community bank from all the others.
So what’s keeping your financial brand from ACTing? What can you start doing today to be more authentic, consistent, and transparent?