Posts Tagged ‘brand’

Dropping the words Credit Union

August 29, 2012

Yesterday, Sarah Snell-Cooke, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher of CU Times wrote an editorial titled Sometimes the best thing a credit union can do is give up ‘Credit Union’. This was brought to my attention in an excellent discussion topic started on

Ms. Snell-Cooke’s editorial concludes with, “Get the consumers in the door first, and then explain to them about credit unions. The name on the door doesn’t matter – it’s what is on the inside that counts.”

Here’s the problem with this statement. As Snell-Cooke concedes, most of the general public have no idea what a credit union is. In addition to that, most staff working in a credit union don’t know what a credit union is. So CU staff are even LESS likely to educate people walking in as to what it is when the words are not even over the door.

Here is an imaginary conversation for credit unions who have dropped the words ‘credit union’ from their name:

Customer/member: “Hi I’d like to open a checking account. Do you have those here?”

Staff: “Why yes, certainly, I can open that for you. While we do the paperwork, can I tell you about what a credit union is?”

Customer/member: “Onion soup? I thought you guys were GTE Financial. Why would you tell me about onion soup?”

When the name is not over the door, mentioned nowhere, then starting a conversation about what it means to be a part of a credit union is as relevant to this new member as having a conversation about onion soup, which is what he thought he heard the staffer say.

Therefore I can not see the logical connection between dropping the words ‘credit union’ from an F.I.’s name as being a route to educating more people about what a credit union is.

New York’s Finest get their own CU… at last.

December 11, 2007

Just read a very cool article in the November 21 issue of the CU Times about a new CU being founded in New York City. Great brands and great credit unions begin with a target audience — and that’s the case here. This CU is called Finest Federal Credit Union, and it’s target member is law enforcement and their families. The article explains in great detail how this credit union knows and understands that unique membership, and how its products and services are going to be tailored uniquely to them. The interesting thing is that there are many Police and Fire CUs across the country, and several are relatively large. (77 CUs have the word “Police” in their name). But none exist in New York City. It’s about time New York’s finest has a credit union of their own. (I wonder if there used to be one, but it expanded in a quest for growth, and lost sight of its original membership?)