Pumped up kicks.

October 24, 2011

Sometime last week you may have noticed that Vancity is sporting some fancy new kicks. Well, word on the street is that the new look is the result of their recent efforts to refocus their brand. The result? Make Good Money™.

The largest credit union in Canada has more than 415,000 members and has gained recognition for its corporate social responsibility and community involvement. Through their last rebrand emerged the common theme of intersections.

“This is a visual reminder that Vancity journeys down the whole road of life with members and staff. Intersections represent the emotional and financial turning points in our members’ lives, where Vancity applies its key skills and services”.

The result was a rotation of the V in the wordmark and crossing them to create an intersection, and the accompanying gradients of colour were intended to represent the spectrum of services available.

The shiny new brand direction is meant to increase awareness of their commitment to member wealth through competitive products and services, as well as financial literacy education.

“The twist is how they make member money work; Vancity makes smart investments in their communities – loans to local businesses, support to community projects – with a focus on affordable housing, local, natural and organic food, and the environment and energy efficiency. The result: members meet their financial goals; their communities thrive; which means each member is even better off. In short, Vancity’s approach is game-changing”.

The result is a look that features imagery of members engaging in every day activities across the lower mainland and Vancouver island. The use of popular local landmarks like the Grouse Mountain Skyride and Skytrain contribute to givwe it all the feeling of a scrapbook that tells the Vancity story, complete with paper cut-out journaling. The result is less polished, and less bright, but very relatable. Watch the new commercial.

Then tell us if you prefer the oldie-but-goodie standbys, or the new pumped up kicks Vancity is sporting.

WTF is BTD?

October 21, 2011

BTD, aka Bank Transfer Day, is a call to people to re-invest in their local communities by transferring their funds from their current big bank to a local credit union on November 5, 2011. Need a refresh on the difference between banks and credit unions? Done and done. And done again.

So the thought is that while both financial institutions can offer you basic banking services, choosing to deal with a credit union will have a positive impact on the consumer & their local community. And if everyone makes the move to a credit union on the same day, the big banks will get the message that conscious consumers will not support companies with unethical business practices. Not sure where the “unethical business practices” part came from? Read up on how the movement started in the United States and has since been buzzed about north of the 49th parallel too.

If you decide to jump onboard then you can start by RSVPing to the BTD movement, mark your calendar, and then: 

  • Research your local credit union options
  • Open an account with the one that best suits your needs
  • Cancel all automatic withdrawals & deposits & transfer your funds to the new account
  • Follow your bank’s procedures to close your account on or before November 5th

If you decide to make the move to a credit union, let us know what it was that influenced your decision to make the switch. And if you already bank with a credit union, what is it that keeps you a member?

Facebook Fan?

November 25, 2010

Seems like everyone is on Facebook these days, and many companies have started up their own Facebook Fan pages in an attempt to get in the game. Looking at some of these is a good place to start when assessing what does and doesn’t work if you’re considering starting a Fan page of your own.

Looking at the Facebook fan pages for credit unions, Commonwealth Credit Union has one of the most popular ones with 3,176 people who have liked the page. They are very diligent with their updating, posting status updates daily. They utilize variety to keep their members engaged, including posting photos and video, providing information on their community involvement, and initiating a couple of discussion forums. To encourage their followers to check in often, they run a number of contests encouraging members to “like” the page, write on the wall, or suggest a friend “like” them. These efforts have resulted in a large base of followers, as well as active member participation on the page.

There are few steps Commonwealth could take to improve the page to ensure ongoing success. First, they should change the logo that is used when posting to a reversed logo so that it displays more prominently on the page. In addition, they should consider adding a customized landing page, similar to what Coast Capital Savings has done. This would add another interesting dimension to the page and allow them to tell a visitor something about their brand on a first encounter, rather than a visitor’s first impression being whatever is up on their wall that day. Finally, there was an instance where negative feedback was left on the wall and it went unaddressed. This was a missed opportunity to possibly prevent a lost member, and it makes it look like they are ignoring the feedback because they did not acknowledge it.

What Facebook Fan pages do you belong to? Who, in your opinion, does the best job on their Facebook page, and why?