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Building the CU Brand through Technology
Thursday, April 24, 2014 6:35 AM

The Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions has received a generous grant from Vancity CU (Canada) to execute phase three of the "Build the Brand" series. The initiative brings together credit union representatives from around the globe to address critical branding issues affecting the future of the credit union movement. Funding will help increase the project's magnitude through virtual conferences, social media and in-person events to showcase innovative digital payment solutions and impactful stories from within and outside the credit union world.

"We're proud to support an initiative like "Build the Brand" that encourages cooperation among credit unions," said Andy Broderick, Vancity vice president of community investment. "Bringing together credit union leaders from developed and emerging economic systems to share knowledge and recommendations are key to strengthening the global credit union movement."

Build the Brand 3.0 will allow credit unions around the world to engage with their peers on digital payments, which have the power to upgrade today's financial services. It will explore how technology, such as digitally enabled services and innovative payment solutions, can improve member experience and its influence on branding-now and in the future.

"It is humbling to have long-term partners that provide generous funding for initiatives that help us keep the industry relevant and current with the consumer. Vancity is one of those supporters," said Victor Miguel Corro, Worldwide Foundation vice president. "In Build the Brand 3.0, we will explore what types of new technology and payment systems credit unions should consider adopting to stay ahead of the curve."

Leveraging Vancity CU’s strong commitment to community, coupled with World Council's values of financial empowerment and inclusion, this new iteration will utilize webinars and social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to engage hundreds of international participants on topics such as electronic payments, mobile banking and digital financing which can enhance the credit union brand. Build the Brand 3.0 will also expand on issues identified during earlier phases of the series, and will offer a unique online platform for housing content, sharing experiences, making recommendations and discussing ideas to effectively reach new and existing members.

In 2012, phase one of "Build the Brand" reflected on the credit union difference and assessed how three leading movements-United States, Canada and Australia-conveyed such differences. In the following year, phase two developed strategies for credit unions to reach younger audiences through social media and identified best practices for implementing an effective social media strategy. Phase two findings led to the following recommendations:

  1. Credit unions should hire from the demographic they are trying to attract.
  2. Campaigns should be focused on the needs and convenience of the consumer.
  3. Credit unions should execute "experience marketing" strategies and engage with members via social media.
  4. Focus communication on local markets.
  5. Learn lessons from other organizations by conducting competitor analyses.

As part of Build the Brand 3.0, World Council will also offer credit unions guidance on how to best implement successful social media strategies and will hold an in-person event at the 2015 World Credit Union Conference in Denver, Colorado, USA.