It’s official. I’m back in the Northwest. It’s my home. It’s familiar. There are good memories and bad memories for me here. But I’ve learned as time goes on, you take the good with the bad and receive them both as gifts.

IMG_1906Our new home has a view of Mt. Hood. I’ve stood on the top of that mountain. I grew up looking at that mountain. The rumors are true – it does rain a lot in the Pacific Northwest – so the mountain isn’t always “out.” That’s what makes it special. Like today. An early morning hot pink sunrise welcomed me. I am home.

Mt. Hood is the logo for Portland, Oregon and Southwest Washington. It’s a reminder of our common bond. People have died on the mountain. Races are run on the mountain. Movies have been filmed on the mountain. It’s our hood. (Hehehehehe….get it?)

Like a mountain, your logo is a powerful thing. It can stand the test of time because it’s the symbol of your brand – which is your reputation. When I hear of a credit union going through a “re-branding” experience it makes the hair on my neck stand up. Kind of like launching a social media campaign, or when someone starts a sentence with irregardless.

You can’t pay someone to re-brand you. Kanye West, AIG and B of A would be throwing millions at these agencies if it were that simple.

The art of branding is your logo. The science of branding is practicing active restraint. Being consistent with your message, your look, tone, feel and your logo. Times change, economies rise and fall, weather threatens to rain on our parade. Stuff happens. But there’s something reassuring about seeing the familiar. Like your credit union.

IMG_1910Marketing’s job today is to protect the brand. People are nervous. They crave something routine, customary, solid, trustworthy. Credit unions are known for that. Some marketers might think that boring – but today – it’s like looking out your window and seeing the sunrise on a mountain.

Whew! It’s still there. Now I can relax and be about my day.