Big Idea

Even as a small credit union with a single branch and less than $200 million in assets, UMe Federal had a brand that would make most marketing directors salivate.

UMe had identity. It had a point of view. It had employees committed to living its brand. UMe was fun and quirky and smart. The credit union said things like:

All the cool kids are doing it. (banking with UMe that is.) 

We live here, too. (UMe, your neighborhood home lender.)

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So, what’s the deal? Those folks have a solid brand, right? Right. It was solid. But the brand was launched in 2011. And although it had been successful – we’re talking double-digit-member-growth-each-month successful – UMe was ready for a refresh. The credit union had grown up a lot since 2011. Now it wanted something a bit more sophisticated, still fun, but credible and trustworthy.

UMe hired Adrenaline to spiff up its brand for 2016. We led strategy sessions, studied the market, assessed the competition and created the following campaign to evolve the brand:

If it matters to U, it matters to Me.

From there, we were able to write some seriously cool ad campaigns. Here’s how we got there.

Process

Our engagement kicked off with a Discovery session, giving our strategists and creatives an opportunity to ask the seemingly silly questions that fuel our work. We learned a lot. We learned UMe employees live and breathe their brand with immense pride—and with great reason: UMe members totally dig the credit union! We learned UMe designs financial products to be as simple as they can. We learned that UMe’s hometown of Burbank is a town full of credit unions, with nearly a dozen CUs competing over who can best sell the credit union difference.

We studied the Burbank market and looked at the branding of UMe’s competitors. This legwork gave context. It was the raw data. In the hands of a copywriter (like me! I’m a copywriter! Look at me!), it’s probably useless. In the hands of seasoned strategists, it’s the kernel that sparks competitive differentiation.

Execution

Our strategy team works with a creative process called Archetypal Mapping, known in some circles as Motivational Theory. Essentially, it’s a method of organizing character traits of a brand into personality buckets. The personality buckets are placed on a circular spectrum with four motivational drivers pulling in opposite directions.

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Archetypes represent the fundamental human motifs of our experiences; consequentially, they evoke deep emotions, linking customer motivation directly to product sales and driving brand engagement and loyalty. Also, there’s this:

A Y&R Brand Valuation study of the world’s top 50 brands found those brands strongly aligned with a single archetype increased in market valuation 97 percent more than unaligned brands over a six-year period.

Therefore, we use the archetypes.

During a full day strategy session, our strategists interviewed, prodded, poked, joked and coaxed information out of the heads of UMe’s leadership team and onto paper. We determined that after its rebranding in 2011, UMe embodied the archetype of the Jester. The jester is fun and whimsical—a clown, an entertainer, a provocateur and even a shape shifter. The Jester archetype sits in the top left quadrant between the motivators Belonging and Stability.

This archetype brought success over the last five years, but as the credit union matured, its leadership team was ready to evolve.

Jester

After our strategy session, we collectively determined to retain UMe’s Jester spirit—one of their brand pillars is “Quirky,” after all—but elevate to also being a Caregiver – one with Altruism, Compassion, Patience and Empathy.

Caregiver

From that archetype came the campaign platform: If it matters to U, it matters to me. And that’s when all the fun began.

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