Although EFCU Financial had a long and successful history, general awareness of the 82-year-old credit union’s brand was low outside of its long-time members. In fact, it had halted new marketing efforts for two years in anticipation of a name change and total rebranding. SASSO guided the rebrand's management and reintroduced EFCU Financial to the marketplace as a brand that exuded life and personality within an industry typically viewed like a commodity.
SETTING THE FOUNDATION
EFCU Financial’s senior management team served as an open book during SASSO’s discovery process, sharing everything from the brand history to their dreams and challenges. SASSO dug deeper and gathered input from the Board of Directors and staff at each of the eight branch locations.
Key staff members participated in an exercise aimed at unearthing the brand’s existing and desired personality traits. These findings, coupled with data from a competitive analysis, served as the foundation for building a complete brand architecture.
WALKING THE WALK
Equipping the EFCU staff with knowledge of the new brand was a key first step to delivering the brand. SASSO developed an extensive internal communications plan to serve as a complete branding guide for staff members. SASSO also helped with the internal kickoff meeting to present the new brand. A “Brand Camp” theme was developed to engage the team and demonstrate the new values through fun, practical scenarios.
BUILDING THE BRAND
Using the newly created brand value architecture as our foundation,
SASSO set out to build the EFCU Financial brand from the ground up.
We began with a color exploration factoring in what colors mean, how those meanings aligned with the brand personality, and which colors were fresh in the marketplace.
EFCU Financial’s logo needed to reflect the stability and personality of the credit union. SASSO accomplished this balance by creating a logo that featured a smile.
TONE OF VOICE
EFCU Financial’s strongest differentiator, in a cluttered bank market, is its approach to business. SASSO took advantage of this by establishing a brand tone that mirrored that approach — professional but relaxed, caring but purposeful.
EFCU Financial prides itself on being fanatically focused on its members. SASSO created a tagline that delivered that message while highlighting the brand personality in a fun and unique way. By pulling out the "U" we created a versatile element to use on multiple collateral pieces to make the brand more relatable.
A SNEAK PEEK
In an effort to create interest and buzz prior to the release of the new name, as well as to maximize the media budget, SASSO developed a teaser campaign to drive traffic to a micro-site focused on giving you a reason to smile.
EFCU Financial’s philosophy of personalized banking was incorporated into its advertising elements as a simple smile to create intrigue. That smile was the focal point of the outdoor teaser campaign.
SASSO approached the publisher of the area’s top lifestyle magazine with a completely new idea to utilize space above its distribution racks. We designed, tested and developed prototypes and ultimately created a new, budget-friendly advertising space for our client.
SHARE THE LOVE
Ads and social media posts were used to drive consumers to a micro-site where visitors were asked to share photos of their smile to spread happiness. This embraced the philosophy of the brand and reemphasized that EFCU Financial would give you a reason to smile.
In order to gain maximum exposure for the rebrand, SASSO simultaneously launched a fully integrated campaign rollout. The creative advertising campaign included television, print, radio, outdoor, social and digital components. New on-site signage, and environmental graphics completed the new brand look and feel.
On The Air
SASSO managed all of the paid media budget, including strategy and placement, to ensure EFCU got the most bang for its buck. Leveraging relationships into added value was key to the campaign success.
SASSO built a social media look and plan that concentrated on positioning EFCU consistently with its brand personality and increasing user engagement.