Case Study: Fitzsimons Credit Union Rebranding

In early 2009, Fitzsimons Credit Union engaged Art + Business ONE for a rebranding project that was to launch in November later that year. The Financial Brand conducted this brief Q&A interview with Art + Business ONE to ask them about the strategy for Fitzsimons’ brand.

The Financial Brand (TFB): What was Fitzsimons hoping to accomplish?
Art + Business ONE (AOB): A key objective of the new Fitzsimons brand was to revitalize their connection to their current members, and appeal to a brand new audience of potential members. Their membership was in transition from a mainstay of military personnel to a new generation of health care and high-tech oriented professionals. Their main branch and corporate office was also moving to the Fitzsimons Technology Park. Elevating internal service standards was also a primary objective. This was the ideal time to launch their new brand and unique value proposition – A Partnering Credit Union – which declared their customer-centric orientation, and made their next generation of members into something even more valuable — partners.

The five symbols in the logo represent Fitzsimons’ principles of partnership: “Pride…in who we are. Passion…for delivering our value-promise every day, every time, to every partner. Integrity…in our words, our actions and our motivations.”

TFB: What did the development process involve?
ABO: The three-stage Art + Business ONE brand development process was used to create the Fitzsimons brand program:

1. Information Gathering began with an assessment of current marketing materials, site tours of branch locations, and a management interview to understand the enterprise’s mission, values and vision to best guide development of the new brand. This session also incorporated discussion regarding target markets, and must-haves for new brand. Information Gathering also included conducting qualitative and quantitative surveys of current Fitzsimons members.

2. The Discovery stage involved creation of the Unique Value Proposition and corresponding visual identity. The purpose of the unique value proposition is to differentiate Fitzsimons Credit Union from the competition and help guide the premise for all initiatives. Art + Business ONE designed comprehensive layouts to showcase
new brand in key applications.

3. Brand Implementation was a collective effort of Art + Business ONE and the Fitzsimons internal marketing department. Together budgets were established and a schedule was determined to coincide brand launch with the ribbon cutting ceremony at their new branch. Art + Business ONE created final art for initial brand applications including building signage. Implementation of the brand was facilitated by the internal Fitzsimons marketing department, using templates and brand standards created by Art + Business ONE. Brand standards not only included visual specifications, but also included brand language guidelines that could be followed to create future pieces. Before the brand was launched, brand internalization training sessions with the entire Fitzsimons staff also took place to ensure consistent, enthusiastic support by all key internal audiences.

TFB: How long did it take?
ABO: The first two stages of brand development, Information Gathering and Discovery, took approximately four weeks to complete. Brand Implementation took approximately 12 weeks to complete, although the official brand launch was held until the grand opening of their new branch.

TFB: How has it evolved since?
ABO: The Fitzsimons internal marketing department has done a tremendous job maintaining brand consistency while creating new brand applications. The brand has evolved to embrace messaging regarding new product offerings and awareness, with the Unique Value Proposition of “A Partnering Credit Union” has remaining consistent.

“Building on Fitzsimons’ 50-plus year legacy with a keen eye on the changing dynamics of their marketplace and a strong allegiance to customer-centric brand strategy lead to a brand program we are very proud of,” said Lance Jackson, Strategic Brand Director, Art + Business ONE.

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