California Credit Union
Supporting the Financial Dreams of Members, From Crest to Coast. Building a unified brand experience for the merger of two Southern California credit unions.
Promote retention and new member acquisition through a reimagined brand experience.
A familiar, yet fresh brand that celebrates the unique lives of all Californians.
In an effort to bring lower rates and wider offerings to an expanded territory in Southern California, California Credit Union and North Island Credit Union merged to become the 14th largest credit union by asset size in California.
The new entity––California Credit Union––needed a partner to help realize a brand identity what would unite current members and resonate with future audiences. Our team stepped up to the task and was immediately presented with a challenge: neither credit union wanted to part with the foundational identity and values that defined their organization. After some initial research, our team developed a design question to help guide our project: How might we combine the unique strengths of both financial institutions to ensure an exceptional, member-focused banking experience?
To answer this question, my team and I developed a research framework to collect psychographic and demographic data from members, non-members, and employees. Our goal was to understand desirable and undesirable aspects of each person’s current banking experience to inform the architecture of our new brand experience. We also conducted a series of Innovation Workshops with executives from both organizations to learn about the goals, mission, and vision of the newly merged entity. The result was a ton of data, which we synthesized into themes that informed the development of the new brand experience.
The end result was a comprehensive brand identity that we and the client were both proud of. Our team developed Brand Platform, Brand Expression, and Photography Direction guides for California Credit Union. We also helped develop a multi-phased brand rollout strategy that touched all interaction points—in-branch, internal communications, and online.