Credit Union Names SMS Banking Product ‘Textus’

In his own blog, Gene Blishen, CEO of Mount Lehman Credit Union, reveals the process by which he chose ‘Textus’ as the name of a mobile phone banking system his credit union is now offering.

The service, known as SMS, allows people to perform certain banking services over their mobile phones by sending text messages.

Blishen said he invited input from “all 10 staff members,” noting that “discussions like these, at this level, are a neat attribute of this credit union. Everyone gets involved, everyone has input.”

But then they got stuck on generational differences: the younger staff aligned under one name, the older under another.

So what did he do? He turned to his friends on Twitter:

“Over the last months there is a group, well it really isn’t a group it is an undefined bunch of people associated with credit unions that actively twitter. Why not throw this one out to the pack of experts and see what comes up? There were some great suggestions but one stood out. Textus. This was proposed to the group and was quickly accepted. We now have a new name for a new product.”

Blishen adds his final reflections on using an ad hoc naming committee:

“When I look at this process it is so simple. I imagine we ‘should’ have hired the experts, done the focus groups, etc. etc. etc. Would they have understood the product enough to come up with any better names? It just seems so fitting that the name came through Twitter. A tech name for a tech product from a tech bunch of people.”

If Blishen’s credit union was in the United States, he’d only have to worry about two trademarks on file with the USPTO, one of which is dead and the other is for first aid kits. (Not much to worry about there.)

Bottom Line: Blishen is right. Hiring “experts” might have yielded names as good as ‘Textus,’ but better names? Not likely.

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