byMichael Neill

Your Culture May Be Ruining Your Brand

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Not too long ago, my neighbor told me she went to a small local credit union to open a savings account for her daughter. The credit union’s “brand” is personalized, convenient service. However, in order to open her account, her daughter needed to appear in-person with her between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Do you see the problem? My neighbor’s daughter must miss school and drive 30 minutes to a downtown office to open a savings account. This is nonsense!

Needless to say, my neighbor has yet to open the account. Regardless of their “brand,” the credit union’s culture of inconvenience is costing them members and revenue.

Your brand is the emotional image your members have of your credit union. A cohesive brand is only established through homogeneous behavior. Diversity of behavior will kill your brand. If Branch A behaves one way and Branch B behaves a different way, it will kill your brand. Your culture will affect behavior and behavior will affect your brand. The converse is true as well. You must have employee engagement across all departments, branches, and employees at a high level to create a brand your members believe in.

Don’t think for one minute that your logo, icon or mission statement defines your credit union’s culture. It doesn’t! The only thing that defines your culture is your behavior - your collective behavior. Everything else is just noise.

Michael Neill is the President and Founder of ServiStar Consulting.