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Brand, Elevated.

March 2014 – Vol: 37 No. 3
by Chuck Fagan

Take a moment to consider what your association's new positioning can do for you and your career.

CUES new logo

Great brands move forward and evolve with time while leveraging their history. After 50 years of serving credit union leaders, it’s time for CUES to move to the next level.

Over time, CUES has been perceived as meeting various needs in the CU market, including “providing training” and “delivering professional development.” Right now, however, CUs are looking to define their relevance for years to come. They don’t just need a company that “provides training” or “delivers professional development.” They need an association poised to help them develop the full potential of their current and future leaders.

They need the new CUES.

Developing potential through partnerships with top-tier universities is the hallmark of CUES’ institutes.

More specifically, the three segments of our flagship CEO Institute program develop leaders’ potential in the areas of strategy (at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School), organizational development (at Cornell University’s Johnson School) and leadership (at the University of Virginia’s Darden School). Developing potential in the form of better innovative thinking drives our new Strategic Innovation Institute™, which will launch this fall at MIT’s Sloan School of Manage­ment, with segment two taking place in fall 2015 at Stanford University’s School of Business. And CUES Governance Leadership Institute™ (at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School) offers a top-tier education in how CUs can best be governed.

Importantly, the CUES vision for talent development is one of international proportions. In January, CUES hired its first Canadian employee to deepen relationships there. CUES also remains committed to helping international members realize their potential through a partnership with the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions and the jointly hosted CCCU and CUES International Convention. Looking still more to the future, CUES also has solidified its participation in the World Council of Credit Unions, receiving its WOCCU flag this past summer.

In all, helping CU leaders and future leaders realize their full potential is CUES’ role in supporting the industry’s future.

Pause for Potential

To get CUES’ new trajectory and brand all sorted out, many people had to take a pause from their regularly scheduled work.

The first group to stop and think about the new CUES branding was the entire CUES staff. Next, our branding team carefully picked a perfect partner, ChappellRoberts, Tampa, Fla. Then we asked our board and other CUES members to pause and offer their ideas about what CUES is and should become.

As part of the re-branding effort, CUES developed a comprehensive brand toolkit. This includes CUES’ new logo (above) and positioning line—“Potential, Realized.”—plus a brand ad campaign, a fully revamped website, videos, and other marketing assets.

We unveiled our new brand to staff in January, gave our members a preview in early February, and publicly launched it at CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference at the end of last month. We’re hoping everyone who sees it will pause for a moment and think: “What has CUES meant to me over the years—and what potential can CUES help me realize now?”

I look forward to your feedback on the new brand and on how CUES can help you going forward.

Chuck Fagan was president/CEO of CUES from January 2013 to March 2015

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