BIRMINGHAM, Ala./TALLAHASEE, Fla.–One year after the League of Southeastern CUs launched its new cooperative image campaign, consumer awareness of credit unions in Alabama and Florida has doubled.

 

The league is attributing those results to great timing, good messaging, and hard work on the part of credit unions to support the campaign with their own marketing.

 

“Our research shows that the image campaign message gets consumers’ attention, and it’s persuasive,” said LSCU President and CEO Patrick La Pine. “We can see a clear line to where record growth began in Alabama and Florida–the third quarter of 2011. The campaign hit the air ahead of Bank Transfer Day and negative consumer sentiments toward bank fees. The second wave this past summer showed a greater growth in awareness.”

 

For the past four quarters, Alabama and Florida credit unions have been adding new members and assets at a record pace, the league reported. Following two waves of the advertising message, “Credit Unions: we’re giving banking a better name,” Alabama and Florida CUs have seen credit union awareness collectively rise from 23% in September 2011, before the first wave of advertising, to 50% following the second wave in August 2012. During this same timeframe, Alabama and Florida credit unions have collectively gained 195,000 new members and $3.6 billion in assets.

 

Help With The Heavy Lifting

 

The excellent success, conceded Mike Bridges, VP of marketing and communications, is even slightly above league expectations. He gave credit to CUs supporting the campaign with their own individual marketing efforts.

 

“We told our credit unions that we’d do the heavy lifting with the image campaign and that it would mesh with their own efforts. It did, and credit unions across Florida and Alabama kept the credit union message in front of consumers.”

 

Bridges said LSCU will keep the campaign going next year, supported by a projected $1.3-million budget. A big goal is to find ways to extend the advertising runs for longer periods.

 

“The campaigns have typically been four to eight weeks. We want to see how we can make those longer–for months. We are looking into how we can make our media buys last longer.”

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