Apr 04 2012

Credit Union Digital Branding Colloquium


Digital branding and social strategies are becoming the necessary norm for all businesses, including credit unions. But there is a danger that managers, while acknowledging this new norm, can get in trouble by not approaching it strategically.

In November 2011, Filene convened a panel of expert researchers and practitioners in San Francisco to discuss and show how credit unions should think about their own branding and digital presence as marketing moves to an increasingly electronic format. We wanted to know what tools are out there (and what’s coming down the pike) along with what digital messages and channels resonate with today’s consumers.

The main takeaway: It is not enough to turn traditional collateral and messaging into digital collateral and messaging. Instead, credit unions need to capitalize on the deeper trend of social connections to make sure their marketing reaches the right audience in the first place and has its intended effect when it arrives. Mobile usage, more emphasis on design, and social marketing all came to the fore as trends that every credit union needs to consider, especially as it hunts for new members.

The colloquium included a cross-section of social media practitioners and researchers along with strategists from Google and Facebook. Each brought a different message, but the unspoken message—really, the needn’t-be-spoken message—was that digital marketing is becoming ever more important. Adopting it won’t be enough; embracing it is the only acceptable route.

Above you’ll see short video clips from the presentations along with some of the most relevant slides. More in-depth videos are below, and the presenters’ full slide decks are also available for download once you log in.


  • Hope Schau, University of Arizona, Watch Your Language: How Consumers Respond to Brands in Digital Media
  • Beth Austin, Crescendo Consulting and Filene researcher, The ROI of Social Media: Fact and Fiction in Credit Unions
  • Christine Trodella, Facebook, How credit unions will be better in a connected world
  • Maya Bourdeau, Attune, The Science of Gen Y Branding
  • Kristen Christian, Organizer, Bank Transfer Day, The Anatomy of Bank Transfer Day
  • Payton Dobbs, Google, Beyond Advertising: Engaging Your Online Audience
  • Expert Panel
Ben Rogers
Managing Director, Research
Report Number 266