imagesCUNA launched the campaign oh so many years ago. I remember because I had to present it at a league meeting to a bunch of marketers. They picked apart the logo, some didn’t “get it” and some flat out refused to use it.

“Credit union growth has been stagnant for more than a decade. From the early 1990s to the present, credit union market share has stayed steady at 6% of total assets. Banks, on the other hand, are gaining billions in new assets every year.
Many would argue that now, more than ever before, credit unions need to aggressively market the credit union difference—individually and collectively.”

Mark Crawford, CUNA Marketing Council wrote this in 2006.

Almost one year ago the folks at Trabian set a record with comments on the topic of a National Brand Campaign.

Nothing like a good old fashioned economic crisis to dust off the National Brand Campaign kits and pledge our allegiance to the credit union difference.

I’ve always felt a tag line is a promise. A promise that should be delivered 100% of the time. The problem with most tag lines, they are lies.

The airlines were a great example. Remember United’s? Fly the Friendly Skies? Took on a whole new meaning after 9/11. Or Delta, “We’re ready when YOU are.” American West (when they were still in business) “What We Fly is YOU!” Not necessarily your luggage.

0846_mz_wamuAnd what was WaMu thinking unveiling “Whoo Hooo” when they HAD to know they were on the brink of failure. Maybe that was their marketing departments point…..

So when CUNA came up with “Where People are Worth More than Money” many thought, well, okay. But what’s our REAL difference?

Today that tag line can become a powerful statement IF credit unions word together to stay out of the TARP trough.

Gary Easterling, CEO of United Federal Credit Union was a guest blogger on CUES Skybox this week. He said it best:

Our banking cousins are “paying” for their obscene profits from recent years by squealing up to the TARP trough, allowing the taxpayer to pick up the tab for their greed. Credit unions have the opportunity to live our difference—meeting the needs of our members, our communities, and our country.
Banks have not expanded lending, even while accessing government funds. They repair their balance sheets, seek mergers and acquisitions, focusing on Wall Street performance, rather than Main Street need.

I for one, am proudly using the America’s Credit Unions logo. Won’t you join me?