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Opinions

The Frankie Award Honorable Mentions

* The $48-million Isabella Community Credit Union in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., which operates a student-run credit union at Mt. Pleasant High School in conjunction with the Mt. Pleasant Area Technical School and the MPHS Accounting Class to operate the SRCU. Faculty and staff can also use the full-service credit union. CEO Jay Anders said the credit union hired "student tellers in the summer, and trained them about credit union service, philosophy and uniqueness to be ready for the fall opening." It also gave away 800 "squishy footballs" to throw out at local high school homecoming games, according to Heather H. Harris.

* In North Charleston, S.C., South Carolina FCU was seeking a unique approach to prepare its 400-plus employees for a new brand, according to Beth Jaskiewicz, SVP-marketing. The resulting strategy was to identify three people at the $1.2-billion credit union who would serve as "brand story-tellers": COO Troy Hall, VP-Marketing Scott Blue, and Jaskiewicz.

"We prepared our script, and asked all our branch managers and our department managers to put us on their monthly meeting agenda," said Jaskiewicz. The trio made presentations of between 20 and 30 minutes each to 20 internal departments and 21 branches. "We truly told the story-not with handouts and charts and PowerPoint presentations, but with heartfelt enthusiasm and openness," said Jaskiewicz. "When we made our brand story-telling rounds, we did not know what the visual representation would be. So we described it as a couple awaiting the birth of a baby: You can look at the parents, grandparents, etc., and make some assumptions about the child's appearance before they're born, but you won't truly know what the child looks like until they're born."

She said that when the brand was finally launched employees knew the story and position behind it." The brand selected by S.C. Federal? "Life Simplified."

* Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union turned itself into Ticonderoga Federal Credit UniVERSITY in an effort to articulate the very fundamentals of the credit union difference.

Marketing Coordinator Kimberly Rielly, explained that first and foremost the credit union dubbed itself a "UniVERSITY" as a reference to its mission to provide financial education for our membership.

Secondly, it has consistently included in all its materials two slogans-"Members make the difference" and "Where You Belong" to reinforce its image.

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