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Rally Credit Union Rebrand

What is a re-brand?

At MDR, we get this question a lot and believe it or not, there can be a range of answers. Many factors can lead to a rebrand, but the result should always be a customized solution for your brand’s situation. A solid and successful rebrand can set a company or product on a new trajectory.

Team MDR recently helped lead efforts to reimagine a beloved South Texas brand that continues to be recognized for its success.

The Client:

NavyArmy Community Credit Union >>> Rally Credit Union

Perception is reality. Given its name, it’s no wonder that many people believed they had to be in the military to bank with MDR’s longtime client, NavyArmy Community Credit Union. Since 2003, NavyArmy’s community charter has served people across eight counties, adding “Community” to its name more than a decade ago. But the misperception that only people in the military could be members continued even after the name adjustment.

The Challenge:

Unleashing untapped potential
Research, surveys and general comments from community members consistently indicated a level of misperception about eligibility requirements, often confusing it with Navy Federal Credit Union. The former name was also a mouthful and could be restricting in mobile ad layouts and radio spots. Additionally, the financial industry continues to rapidly evolve and modernize with brands and names moving with it (Ally, Chime, Go2Bank). It was time to be visionary and plan for the next generation of members.

In 2023, after years of debate and discussion, presentations and pitches, the sixth-largest credit union in Texas decided to take the leap and rename their beloved institution. Committed to evolve and ensure their services were available to all members of the community, they unleashed go-to partner, MDR Advertising to help undergo an extensive 360-degree process to refresh their brand in a way that wouldn’t forget their past but would help propel them forward.

The Process:

The vigorous and deliberate process involved a brave board and internal champions, a comprehensive brand image study, decks of qualitative and quantitative research, authentic employee engagement, regional and national focus groups, rambunctious rah-rahs and a mighty team of minds committed to the same desired outcome: to create the next exciting chapter in this incredible institution’s story.

Here’s a sampling of what the discovery revealed:

Why should people trust the credit union?

Member is always first, Safety and security always a priority, Known for service and take pride in it, Convenience and Comfort levels, Community Involvement & volunteerism

What makes the credit union special?

We’re connected…to the community and our members

What is at the credit union's core?

Building community, making it personal, activating possibility, winning every moment.

What personality does the credit union embody?

Welcoming, Personal, Optimistic, Energized.

What promise does the credit union keep?

Turning financial needs into financial dreams.

Keeping these pillars in mind we focused on solutions in these areas:

How do we simplify and modernize the brand to appeal to future generations?  

How do we attract an all-encompassing audience without losing our legacy?  

How do we communicate that we’re inclusive in our efforts to build prosperity for everyone? 

The Objective:

Beyond our overall goal to overcome barriers and increase membership, the objectives to drive this long-awaited endeavor included:

AN HONORABLE EVOLUTION – Create a meaningful and impactful concept and roll out for a new name and corporate brand identity that will excite members and board alike, providing organizational leadership a wide momentum for ongoing brand growth.

A RALLYING OF THE TROOPS – Develop a successful system for internal marketing geared towards boosting morale and encouraging all teams in all markets to fully understand, embrace and live the new brand promise.

The Big Idea:

Strategy first, then tactics. To finally end the confusion, MDR worked with the client’s brand team to embrace and debut a new name and identity — along with a new tagline and an authentic brand position. All of which was proudly launched with robust internal and external campaigns that paid homage to its history — familiar but fresh, rather than entirely different.

A New Name and Dynamic Logo

It was also critical to the credit union’s leadership, executed in a way that didn’t give members a reason to assume the credit union had been acquired, sold, or bought out. Several names were considered, but we ultimately landed on “Rally Credit Union”. Rally is active. Both a noun and a verb – full of all the right kind of potential for the growing brand.

Why it Works:
It can mean different things to different people, but ultimately, it exemplifies who the brand shows up as today. All imagined interpretations have been positive: whether a military vibe (rally the troops) or a pep rally, or simply to overcome challenges (Let’s rally!) Rally captured the spirit as an organization and fit them like a glove.

Timing was perfect for something positive and uplifting. It’s only one (small, but mighty) word, and it embodies their brand values. The concept is fun and has the power to generate a renewed sense of passion and energy all around.

INTRODUCING: RALLY CREDIT UNION

Banking isn’t as simple as it used to be. In today’s world, our financial needs are more diverse: tuition, retirement, loans, mortgages – the things that matter to all levels of income, to all walks of life. This calls for a financial partner that can bring it all together.

At Rally Credit Union, we’re here to answer the call. To help you stay the course, fight for your goals, and stand behind you every step of the way. Rally is here to be your biggest cheerleader. Because in today’s world, we can agree– that’s something we all need.

Rally Credit Union – Banking for All.

This rebrand provided a solid foundation to further refine messaging for key targets. It naturally appeals to a large audience, including sports fans. It’s multi-generational; it might appeal to a veteran as much as their grandchild: imagine pep rallies with marching bands and cheerleaders to kick off a new branch opening or any large-scale member or community event.

See completed creative executions here.

The Results:

The work resonated with longtime stakeholders within the organization, helping to spread the good word. Change can be difficult, but members have overwhelmingly embraced it, even more quickly than expected. Additionally, the rebrand was recognized by The Financial Brand and the Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC) as a best practice on how to successfully rebrand in the credit union space. The continued recognition received is a testament to the years of dedicated planning, thoughtful research, and creative collaboration that took place.

Internally, the organization is experiencing record-high employee retention and overall brand pride having steadily grown membership almost 450% over the past two decades. This is further demonstrated in social media performance where audience engagement has grown 300%. During the launch period, their website generated 50K new member application starts with a big 17.42% increase in new, longer user sessions. The credit union has also since achieved #1 Auto lender status in South Texas and was named among America’s Best Regional Credit Unions by Newsweek and Best in Class Employers by Gallagher in 2024.

MDR has also been recognized for the strategy and design behind the rebrand, winning state-level awards from the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and the American Marketing Association (AMA).

Request for Partnership:

The success of this credit union and its remarkable growth serves as a shining example of a solid agency partnership rooted in trust. A rebrand of this magnitude involves numerous moving parts and considerations for various audiences. Throughout the entire endeavor, we were fortunate to have a strong team at Rally to work with every step of the way.

A rebrand is a big deal. It’s about change, which we all know can be hard to embrace no matter where you sit. It’s a decision that should be considered carefully and plotted out thoughtfully. Working from the outside in and launching from the inside out is a big part of what makes it successfully resonate. If your company is contemplating a rebrand, consider these results and reach out to us. Let’s find out if we’re the match for your next move.

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