Summit Credit Union, which serves 165 various businesses in
North Carolina, needed a way to promote its products and services
to its membership base. It wanted to raise its profile and educate its
members through an inexpensive but effective solution.
Because credit unions typically have fewer branches than banks,
they often forge agreements with third-party ATM deployers for
members to use off-site machines surcharge-free. Summit is no
ATMs are a vital means for our members to access to their accounts
regardless of where they live, Glenn Kirk, vice president of marketing
and business development for Summit Credit Union said. Summit only
has six branches in the communities they serve – Raleigh, Hickory,
Greensboro and Winston-Salem.
Working with GetBranded.com, an online branding company that
specializes in ATM branding solutions,Summit ordered customized
wraps for their seven off-premise ATMs. Six of the wrapped ATMs are
inside the premises of business partners, while the seventh is a freestanding
unit in the entryway at one of its branches.
Until recently, ATMs and their spacious panels had been overlooked
as prime marketing real estate. Industry experts, such as Kirk, see
the machines as a low-cost way for credit unions to publicize their
operation and compete with larger financial institutions.
ATMs are not just a place to get money anymore…
it’s criminal to not take advantage of that space and
turn the bare steel boxes into vital billboards.
The ATM wraps feature more than merely a logo and a name.
Using dominant color photographs, which feature actual members
and large captions, they tout the positive benefits members have
The wraps were designed to fit the specific dimensions of each
unit. Each panel covering was peeled from a large sheet and
adhered to their respective spots on the ATMs in a matter of
minutes, instantly enhancing the machine’s appearance and
branding with Summit’s customized marketing message.
It’s tough to tell exactly how much the wraps have helped publicize
Summit Credit Union’s products and services as they are just one
part of an overall marketing campaign. But Kirk said he knows
they’ve made a difference since Summit focused on branding their
ATMs two and a half years ago.
During that time, Summit’s assets have risen by about $5 million
and membership increased by roughly 2,000. Kirk says members
of the community seem to be more familiar with the credit union’s
Cost-Effective Marketing Tool
The credit union also relies on lobby displays and promotions, direct
mailings to members, newsletters and other inserts, messages on
statements, outdoor signs and occasional newspaper ads to get
the word out.
As compared to other marketing, ATM wraps are very cost effective.
Billboards for example can cost thousands of dollars
for an ad that might only appear for a few weeks. An ATM wrap,
on the other hand, are significantly less expensive.There is
a one-time fee and the wrap is designed to last upward of five
years. They are also custom-designed for the financial institution.
Assuming a wrap might cost $400 but lasts three years, if an
ATM has 1,000 users a month, the cost of the wrap would equate
to roughly one cent per user over that period, Kirk said.
While billboards might reach countless motorists, Summit believed
it wouldn’t reach the ideal audience with billboards, Kirk said.
Interstate travelers who see billboards, more times than not,
are transients with no connection to the local community.
“People who live in the community are going
to see the ATMs,” said Latshaw. “They’ll see
them over and over and over.”
Because ATM wraps are durable and designed
to last for five years or more, the only time
Summit’s wraps might change its wrap is if
they decide to alter the message or simply
wants to refresh the look, Latshaw said.
Customized to Spotlight Real Members
Because GetBranded.com ATM wraps are
customized for the client, Summit was able
to use photos of real members from the
community that potential new credit union
members can relate to.
By spotlighting members hailing the credit union’s services, such
as car loans and equity lines of credit to consolidate loans at lower
interest rates, Summit was able to quickly illustrate its value to
those who were new to the credit union membership rolls.
“It’s all about awareness,” Kirk said. “When you’re trying to change
somebody’s perception, you do it by chipping away,” he said.