Bancography | Branch Planning, Marketing Research, Brand Strategy, Products & Profitabilty

The Top 50 Most Distinctive Credit Union Names

Names selected for this list were based on their uniqueness within the credit union industry. Other criteria included:

  • Each reflects something phonetically interesting and/or thematically evocative.
  • Each name is memorable, and lends itself to a URL that’s easy to recall.
  • Searching Google for these names is likely to yield the correct result in the top 2-5 results, especially when paired with the term “credit union.”
  • None of the names on this list are linked to a specific geographic area or obviously tied to an employer.

The list appears alphabetically. If you think a name was missed that should be on the list, let’s hear about it. A few other noteworthy and interesting names follow the “Top 50.”

  1. 66
  2. 360
  3. Addison Avenue
  4. Altier
  5. Altura
  6. Amplify
  7. Beehive
  8. Bootstrap
  9. Bull Dog
  10. Bull’s Eye
  11. Double Eleven
  12. E 53
  13. Ed-Med Fed
  14. Elektra
  15. Elevations
  16. Endura
  17. Fidelis
  18. Fort Knox
  19. Four Four
  20. Grow Financial
  21. Inova
  22. Integris
  23. iQ
  24. Kinecta
  25. Little Giant
  26. Navigant
  27. NuUnion
  28. One Thirteen
  29. Plus4
  30. Qside
  31. Quorum
  32. Rawhide
  33. Red Canoe
  34. Redbrand
  35. Rocket
  36. Seven Seventeen
  37. Taleris
  38. Three I
  39. Triple C 16
  40. Truliant
  41. Velocity
  42. Veridian
  43. Verity
  44. Vermillion
  45. Watermark
  46. Wings
  47. Xceed
  48. Xcel
  49. Y-12
  50. Zia

Honorable Mentions

Personalities

It’s Not What You Think

Foreign

  • Cuba
  • Lebanon
  • Egyptian
  • Polish Combatants

Ditto

Longest

  • Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation Troy Employees Federal Credit Union

In Conclusion

  • Last

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CUNA | Youth Week 2014

Comments

  1. Tim McAlpine says:

    Good list. Just curious how many of these credit unions did you name?

  2. While working at Weber Marketing, I renamed seven credit unions in this list. I’d like to think I was objective when compiling it; there are another 24 credit unions I’ve helped rename beyond the seven listed here.

    iQ is one of mine in the list, and it’s a personal favorite. It like it because it makes a subtle connection back to the credit union’s roots serving educators, while simultaneously suggesting things about “intelligent” financial services. Also, the alliteration of “iQ Credit Union” and “iQCU” sounds great. The lowercase “i” is interesting (interesting enough that I used it in the name of my own company, ICONiQ).

    Plus4 is another name I came up with at Weber, and I like it for many of the same reasons as iQ. The credit union’s former name was “Houston Postal,” so the Plus4 makes a connection to their heritage in a way that only insiders would get (ZIP+4). To anyone else, it just looks like a different kind of name. The alphanumeric combination is really what makes it unique. The name subconsciously asks a question, “Plus four *what*?” But the general idea of “plus four” of anything is positive in the financial space.

  3. Tim McAlpine says:

    Thanks for the details. I love when there is a built-in story that the insiders can be proud of.

    For example, when I first heard the name Addison Avenue, I thought it was very interesting and memorable. But when I heard the back story that Hewlitt and Packard started HP in a garage on Addison Avenue and that this was the former HP Employees Credit Union, I was flat-out blown away by the brilliance of this rename.

  4. Yeah Tim, Addison Avenue is one of the best names for its subtle link to the credit union’s heritage. I think Seven Seventeen is also one of those names. I think it used to be the number for whatever union it used to serve (IBEW #717, for instance). I don’t know though. I could be wrong. It doesn’t say anything about it at their website.

  5. Jeffry – very fun post. At first I thought you were joking about some of these. But they have hyperlinks so they must be real (I mean, if something is on the internet, it’s for real, right?!)

    One of my personal favorites is ICU; particularly Matt Vance’s story about calling a member and their reaction to receiving a call from the “ICU”.

  6. When I was telling someone at my last job (at a community college) that I was going to work at a credit union, he immediately mentioned how much he HATED the new name of his credit union…Red Canoe. :) Then again, he was an older, ex-military, conservative IT guy. Not so much for the change.

    I love the Addison Avenue story, too. It’s almost whimsical.

  7. Hi Elaine, thanks for your comment.

    The best brands are controversial — never universally loved. That’s why this list isn’t titled, “The 50 Most Loved & Admired Credit Union Names.” lol ;)

    I wonder if your military friend got over his initial reaction. Many people in Longview, WA (where Red Canoe is based) freaked out about the name at first, but now it is well-respected and well-liked.

    I’d also bet your military friend buys Starbucks Coffee or has bought Kodak film. He may have a Bluetooth headset on his Blackberry. Or maybe he has an iPod. The point being that I’d bet he never thought about those names — ever. Renaming makes people think consciously about names in a way they almost never do with other brands at other times. (All the brands in this paragraph have names that make absolutely no sense at all.)

  8. Great post Jeffry. I think companies in every industry get bogged down with names that sound too identical to their competition. From the consumer’s view, they all blend together and it makes it harder to differentiate. If you’re going to stand out from your competitors, the first thing that has to be different is your name.

  9. Great points Mike.

  10. I really like the “Red Canoe” name–it fits the Pacific Northwestern love of local nature and outdoor activities, and the website has been beautifully built around the theme of canoes and nature. Gorgeous photos, smart use of the paddles in the design.

    Best of all, it helps contend with the Credit Unions’ constant plight of, “But do I have to work for ____ to be a member of the CU?” There is no business or industry here by the name Red Canoe (that I know of), but had they held on to the Weyerhauser name, they would have continued that misunderstanding.

  11. I was disappointed that the Polish Combatants Credit Union dropped “combatants” from the name.

    Some of my favorite credit union names come from the DC area – Organization of American States CU, White House CU, Dept. of the Interior CU, National Geographic CU – there are tons of them. If you get a google map of the area and search “credit union” on it, you’ll find many interesting ones.

    I like Polish Slavic Credit Union in the NYC area. PSFCU. I like the PS like ending a letter.

  12. Polish Slavic is one of my favorites too.

    I wish I could do the in-branch merchandising and retail fixturing for a credit union with the word “Combatants” in it — too bad.

  13. Tracie Wilcox says:

    I think the name Space Age could easily be added to this list.

  14. If you include Y-12 in this list, then you really have to include K-25 – now known as Enrichment Federal Credit Union. K-25 is where the government enriched uranium for The Bomb in WWII – hence the new name, Enrichment. K-25, the actual plant, closed in 1987 and was dismantled over the past umpteen years. The building was U shaped and the length of 3 football fields.

  15. You’re right Malinda, K-25 is a little cooler/better than Y-12, but the list includes only current credit union names.

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