Tuesday, July 20, 2010

CultureLab's Branding Work for InTouch Credit Union


New InTouch Credit Union TV Spots Let Members and Employees Tell the Story

Dallas, Texas, July 20, 2010-In a new round of: 30 TV spots developed to introduce the general public to InTouch Credit Union http://www.itcu.org, members and employees do the speaking.

The concept of letting members and employees tell their own personal stories involving the credit union was brought to the management team by the Culturelab agency who have been working with InTouch for the last 2 years to help recruit younger members.

CultureLab, http://www.culturelabcreative.com a Dallas based agency focused on insight, intelligence and engagement of next generation consumers presented the idea to ITCU’s management team that the most powerful advertising comes from referrals and word of mouth recommendations from satisfied customers.

Kevin Walker, managing partner of CultureLab, states, “In an era where consumers are so much more informed and empowered it is important to have strong and consistent brand narrative. With InTouch we have a great opportunity to start the narrative off right by letting the credit union members and employees set the tone and articulate what makes InTouch such a great credit union.”

“We have so many terrific member experience stories to share,” said Diane Gerstner, EVP of the Credit Union, “and we feel fortunate that our members are both passionate and loyal”.

The new TV spots feature 3 Credit Union members and one employee who tell their stories of positive interaction with InTouch Credit Union and interaction with Credit Union members. One of the featured members is Abi Ferrin, a Dallas based fashion designer, who benefited greatly from a line of credit InTouch Credit Union provided her.

Many companies are now looking for more emotional and authentic ways to connect with consumers. Instead of pushing out brand messages, they are allowing consumers to help define their brands by paying more attention to customer opinion and feedback. This is the approach taken to introduce ITCU and to define how ITCU is a “best in class” credit union when it comes to being attuned to their members’ needs.

The new spots will first be aired during the Dallas Cowboys preseason televised games. There will also be an online component to the campaign, with a heavy Facebook focus.

About In Touch Credit Union:

Headquartered in Plano, Texas, InTouch Credit Union serves more than 71,000 members in 21 locations throughout the United States. The organization holds assets totaling more than $870 million. Customer deposits are insured by the National Credit Union Association.

Media Contact: Kevin Walker, CultureLab, 972.835.2366

Monday, July 12, 2010

Kevin Published Today in Dallas South News Blog

Here is an article that was published today in Dallas South News:

What does Dallas offer the Creative Class?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

CultureLab's POV on the Future of Branding and Urban Marketing

Last month, I spoke at the Dallas Advertising League luncheon on the future of branding and specifically the future of multicultural/urban marketing. Here are the key points that I shared with the audience:

  1. Have A Brand Narrative: In the age of clutter, sub-segmentation, and proliferation of mediums your brand identity has to be consistent and strong. You also have to make it very very clear as to why consumers should care about you.

  1. The Science of Consumer Influence is Here: the methodologies for effective marketing are changing and becoming more scientific. Digital advertising and the results from social media outreach are easily measured. Analytics and rich data enable continual optimization of marketing offers and placement. Soon consumers will be broken down into genomes instead of segments much like what Pandora does for music lovers. The principles of behavioral targeting are continuously refining. Also the science of the influencer and virality will be studied even more as WOM and influencers can enhance the success of products and marketing campaigns. Just reference agencies like Mekanism and the embedded video here of Tom Phillip’s talking about Sociographics.
  1. Understand Cultural and Lifestyle Nuance-It is Never Cool To Market At The Expense of Other Racial Groups: Popeye’s and Metro PCS TV spots are two executions that are ALL WRONG (I tried to find the "Annie The Chicken Queen" spots but apparently the agency has removed them from youtube). These spots unapologetically revel in stereotypes. The new KIA hamster spots, however, are ALL RIGHT, the song choice of Black Sheep’s “The Choice is Yours” and the urban scenarios displayed show real insight and showcase understanding of cultural nuance. The KIA spots are also universal with the use of Hamsters as the subjects.4. There is a Decreasing Need for Ethnically Segmented Creative, MASS is MASS, However Targeted Engagement is Increasing in Importance: For the next generation consumer, ethnicity is not at the forefront of their identity, lifestyle is, so you are out of step if you are marketing to them based on ethnicity only. Furthermore mashup mindsets and cross culturalism make great universal creative ideas even more important in mass mediums like Broadcast TV. However to be effective and engage young urban consumers, research and targeted digital engagement are necessary.

5. The Creative Idea is Still What Matters Most at the Dawn of the Post-Digital Age: Ideas that are status update worthy, spreadable, and buzz generating are more important than the medium. Great copywriting matters even more. Look at the success of Weiden + Kennedy’s Old Spice commercials.

  1. Geo Targeted Apps Are Here to Stay and They Are a GREAT Traffic Driving Tool for Retail: Apps like Foursquare can benefit retailers who embrace all of the functionality of these apps. It can be a great promotional tool, engagement tool, and disseminator of real time information. Ultimately these apps can shepherd consumers to your establishment. For consumers, geo location apps like Gowalla and Foursquare are very powerful WOM tools. Followers pay attention to the influential person’s check ins.

  1. Consumers are your Brand Managers: We are now living in the era of the open brand. As we have become accustomed to open source code, we think it is our right to say what we like and don’t like when it comes to brands that we are passionate about. Consumers are just as important as Brand Managers, and have to be paid close attention to. Pepsi is a large brand that clearly gets this. I referenced this back in the Super Bowl ad review, that they showed they were in step with next gen consumers by creating the Pepsi Project.