Brand Image & Awareness Case Study

South Carolina Federal Credit Union

One Step to Life Simplified

Business Objective:

South Carolina Federal Credit Union is among the 100 largest credit unions in the United States with more than $1 billion in assets and more than 148,000 members.  They attribute this phenomenal growth to their commitment of looking out for their members and staying ahead of their needs.  With that in mind, South Carolina Federal wanted to design a strong brand image that delivered this appropriate brand promise to consumers and businesses in its service area.

Research Objective:

Research Inc. was engaged to achieve several objectives - determine the credit union's current brand equity and image in the marketplace; uncover consumer and businesses unmet needs; measure awareness and understanding of the credit union's eligibility requirements; and obtain reaction to proposed brand position and creative concepts.


In the first phase of the research, Research Inc. conducted a benchmark telephone survey among consumers and small business decision makers in the credit union's service area.  In phase II, Research Inc. hosted four focus group sessions - two in Charleston, SC and two in Columbia, SC.  Two focus groups, one in each city, were conducted among current members of the credit union.  The remaining groups were among non-members of South Carolina Federal Credit Union.

The Result:

Initial research findings were used to develop a new brand positioning for the credit union.  South Carolina Federal learned that consumers' top priorities were convenient access, friendly tellers, knowledgeable employees and reasonable fees.  The credit union gained insight to consumers' emotions by learning that consumers are busy and desire convenience with a trusted partner.  In other words, consumers long for a simplified life.  From these findings, South Carolina Federal developed a messaging platform that centered upon the themes: "Life Simplified" and "One Step Ahead."

A follow up quantitative survey conducted one year after the introduction of South Carolina Federal's new brand to the community, revealed positive increases in awareness, usage, and perception of the credit union among target audiences.  South Carolina Federal continues to utilize Research Inc. and market research to enhance its brand image as well as develop products and services that fulfill the credit union's brand promise.