Jeff Manning discussed ways to recharge your Credit Union and build a more potent brand by walking the audience through the history of the “Got Milk” campaign.

Finding a brand

Any previous milk campaign was based on a “good-for-you” strategy aimed at improving consumer attitudes. However, almost everybody believed already that milk is healthy and it didn’t help sales.

A campaign was needed that had a different strategic platform. Through observations and strategic insights, they realized that more than 90% of all milk occasions are with food. And, the only time when people care about milk is when they run out. And, so “Got Milk” was born. They tapped into a human truth.


Make the brand pervasive

Develop a marketing strategy that’s holistic and surrounds the customer with 360 marketing. “Got Milk” merchandised the strategy through their website and small accessories. This reminded people constantly of the brand and kept awareness and consideration levels high.

The brilliance of the campaign was the combination of human insights, behavioral nudging and applying humor.

Jeff Manning asked the audience to make the brand smile. Just like “Got Milk did.


Give your brand away

Jeff Manning didn’t ask for license fees when cartoonists wanted to tap into that trend and he partnered with a lot of food companies to create organic associations. Cobranding and collaboration became more critical, and few brands can afford to isolate themselves.

Be willing to take some risks. Just like Jeff Manning did when he used a touchy subject:

The last commercial caused some trouble but Jeff Manning considered it worthwhile because it was an intelligent risk. He urged Credit Unions to take intelligent risk and embrace it.

How to reignite the Credit Union category

  • Unprecedented competition
  • Consumers intensely critical
  • Problems not brand driven
  • Awareness first step
  • Not deep enough
  • Must unearth power proposition
  • Imperative to get in consideration set

Credit Union Issues

  • Organization
  • Governance
  • Funding
  • Budget
  • Action Plan
  • Evaluation/ROI

To conclude his session, Jeff Manning gave three examples how categories can be revived: Cotton (Fabric of your life), Potato (America’s favorite vegetable) and Pork (“The other white meat.)

Customers must get beyond “Credit” and “Union” and feel Credit Unions are important providers of financial services.