The credit union industry gathered at CUNA Marketing and Business Development Council to learn about the best practices sparking change across local credit union communities. Genuinely born of the desire to serve their members, the most exceptional programs received Diamond Awards for their big ideas. Now, we’re inspired to share some of ours.

Last week, we were proud to sponsor the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council in San Antonio, from March 29 and April 1. One of the highlights of the conference is the CUNA Diamond Awards Gala where Adrenaline’s own Chief Experience Officer, Gina Bleedorn, spoke. As sponsors of the conference, we partnered with CUNA, because we know that this gathering features world-class thinking and best-practices across the credit union industry. We are excited by the great work credit unions are accomplishing all across the country, serving local communities and doing right by people. It’s that focus on member experience that is going to propel this industry forward.

At the conference, we had the opportunity to hear from presenters from across the country share their perspectives and knowledge about what’s working within their doors, their cities and towns. In that spirit, we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our insights with you. As winners of the 2017 CUNA Diamond award for our work with UMe and Unify credit unions, we’ve compiled some compelling takeaways from our award-winning programs.

Working with dozens and dozens of credit unions, we know that strategic thinking is at the heart of the best credit union brands operating today. Here are five steps we recommend for credit unions as they prime their businesses for long-term success.

  • Know Thyself. What makes your credit union tick? What’s at the heart of everything you do? Understanding what’s in your brand’s DNA is central to developing a marketing and branding strategy that is aligned with your core culture and represents the very best you have to offer.
  • Know Your Competitors. Once you really understand what you stand for, take a look at your competitors. See what they’re doing and stand for something different. There are things every credit union does – transactions, for example – and there are things only you can do. Find them.
  • What’s the Big Idea? Credit unions that shine almost always have a big idea at their heart. It’s your differentiator on steroids. Every credit union has some special sauce, something that no one else could replicate, even if they wanted to. What is that? Identify it and embrace it.
  • We Got Spirit! Your big idea is powerful. Rally around it. Involve your team into really bringing your big idea to life in a meaningful way. Your team members are the cheerleaders who model that brand spirit every day and in every way.
  • All Roads Lead Back Here. This is where you fuse it all together. All brand touch points point to and from your big idea. Whatever channel your members interact with, your brand must act and interact in alignment with your big idea.

To see strategy in action, visit our credit union case studies where we outline challenges and opportunities and detail innovative approaches that are remaking the modern credit union.