ME Mainia

I had the great pleasure of spending a few days last week in Maine (A BIG thank you to the Maine CU League). It’s a state that never disappoints. Mix together great scenery, amazing food, and a heaping dose of over the top hospitality and voila welcome to the great state of Maine. Just like any renowned brand, Maine faithfully underpromises and overdelivers, leaving me longing for more.

In fact, I’d say that Maine is the perfect model for any credit union looking to build an authentic brand. Here’s what I have learned after catching a good dose of Maine-ia:

{Have contagious enthusiasm} I do a good job of gushing uncontrollably about the state to just about anyone who will listen. I think its because the passion and adoration the locals feel is infectious – it’s Maine-ia!  Ask anyone where to go, and you’ll glean a list of to dos that will keep you busy for weeks.
Who are your brand champions? Are they passionately engaged believers?

{Develop inherent cultural norms} I find it amusing that there is an unspoken dress code in Maine. Most everyone looks as if they stepped off the pages of an LL Bean catalog. I like to call Maine “The state too friendly to wear a tie”. Its casual cache threads are reflective of the down to Earth, approachable, Mainer attitude.
What can your credit union do to develop a rich culture? How do things like the dress code affect your members’ perceptions?

{Be quirky local} I’m sure Walmart  breathes somewhere in Maine, but finding it is like playing “Where’s Waldo.” Instead of rubber stamped chains and plain vanilla flavorless shopping malls, Maine amplifies local businesses, thereby preserving the uniqueness of its natives. Main Street is a true reflection of local entrepreneurs. Who wants a Bud Light, when local micro-brews abound anyway?
What’s unconventional and authentic about your field of membership, and what can you do to magnify it to connect with members?

{Embrace your history} Lighthouses are as common in Maine as stoplights in some US cities. They’ve lovingly preserved their mariner heritage because character and age are considered precious and endearing. It’s even tough to find new homes because the older ones are well-preserved, despite the harsh climate. It’s obvious that the sustainability and authenticity of Maine heritage is important to its people.
How can you preserve your credit union’s heritage or do you quietly sweep it under the carpet in favor of what’s new and shiny?

I find it ironic that the Maine state abbreviation is “ME”, since just like a good credit union, its brand is loyal to its many “MEs”.

So, thanks Maine, for giving this me another good dose of Maine-ia.


About giraphcu

Greetings and salutations! Welcome to gira{ph}, a strategic marketing firm that helps credit unions amplify their greatness to create chemistry with consumers. The credit union movement has given so much to us. This is our way of giving back. Enjoy!
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