By Eric Hansing, Sr. Vice President, Corporate Strategy, Marketing & Communications at CUNA Mutual Group
This month marks the beginning of an exciting new chapter for CUNA Mutual Group and the credit unions we serve. After more than a year of massive effort, we are finally ready to launch as a single, unified brand – TruStageTM.
The brand represents all we have to offer, enabling our customers and employees to experience one, cohesive organization. It’s an organization that, like credit unions, has experienced a vast amount of change over the last nine decades. Born into the credit union movement in 1935, CUNA Mutual Group has a long history of finding new ways to better serve our customers.
Over the years, we’ve added new brands, new products, even brought fully formed companies under our roof, all with an eye toward making a brighter financial future accessible to everyone. Each of those pieces of our evolutionary story fit together. At times, however, that fit wasn’t as clear from the outside as it was on the inside because many of those pieces had different brand names. We’d become a “house of brands.” How each of those brands fit together was confusing to our customers. By unifying under a single brand, our “house of brands” instead becomes a “branded house,” bringing clarity to the complete, compelling story of the company we have become.
We chose TruStage as our brand name. It’s a brand we launched 10 years ago for one of our largest lines of business. Since then, TruStage has developed positive equity, and our research indicated it was highly extensible into the rest of what we do. The name was also selected because it represents our desire to be a trusted partner to credit unions as they help members build financial confidence at every stage of their lives.
More than a name change
We believe a brighter financial future should be accessible to everyone. Our goal is to help improve the financial lives of millions more members thanks to the work we do in partnership with their credit unions. Coming together under a single brand unifies our organization, keeping us supremely focused on that goal.
The good news is we already help credit union members achieve bright financial futures today. Our purpose, principles and values have not changed, nor has our commitment to credit unions. We’re simply more cohesive. It’s much easier to see how each of our areas fit into a bigger, more compelling picture. It’s a motivating catalyst for growth.
Unified, not uniform
While it’s exciting that we’re now unified under a single brand, it’s important to remember that each area of TruStage brings something unique to the total. Our lending protection teams have different capabilities than our annuities teams, for example. Our technology and ventures teams are very different from our implementation and operations teams. Because it’s critical that TruStage provide trusted solutions at every stage of a member’s life, we will continue to build specialized proficiencies in new areas.
Now, however, we’re all unified by the TruStage brand. As such, our customers can expect consistent excellence from us no matter which products, services or experiences we’re delivering.
A bright future
Our organization does not take this change lightly. We have approached it with a high degree of reverence for the nearly 90-year-old CUNA Mutual Group brand and each of its sub-brands. They represent an important part of our history.
As credit unions continue to grow and evolve, so will we. Unifying under a single brand will allow us to bring all our capabilities together, maximizing the value we bring to our customers. We are so proud of all the different employee teams that have tackled the many pieces of this branding puzzle. They understand how important our credit union partners are.
The value system that is so deeply embedded within our company and the movement will keep us focused on ensuring the industry continues to thrive. A colleague put it best: “‘CU’ may no longer be in our name, but it will always be in our blood.” We look forward to a bright future serving credit unions as, together, we create brighter financial futures for your members.
The views expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CUNA Mutual Group.