Is your name helping or hurting your future growth and success?

first_imgSome financial institutions struggle for years to answer the question of whether their name is a positive brand asset with high equity that could drive growth (“if only it could be marketed better”); or an anchor causing prospect disinterest, market confusion and limiting future market share growth and performance.The answers to the question: “should we keep or change our name,” often surprise many senior leaders and board members. Underlying it is a more complex set of branding challenges and competitive market positioning issues, not just a name challenge. So how should you find out the truth, with facts and clarity, to move forward to a clear and strategic long-range choice on such a mission critical decision?Without a well-managed process and expert brand and naming partners to guide and help you to proactively evaluate the strategic implications, the risks and scenarios of a name or brand change, emotions, personal opinions, and the irrational fear of the unknown usually prevail. These fears string out making a wise strategic decision; or worse, lead to reactive and costly short-term decision-making. Risks and questions often dominate the early name evaluation stage among senior leaders and board members:How many of our members may leave over a name change and their pride in our history and roots? Could a name change be confused with a merger? Do we just have a brand and marketing problem that our people need to fix? Could this change hurt our staff culture, trust and confidence in leadership and the board? Could we lose all the name equity we’ve built up over all these years? How can we retain it with a brand new name? Will the huge cost be worth it in generating results, growth or improvement of our brand perceptions and market positioning? There’s a way to do the branding and naming process effectively—and many credit unions have failed to do it well on their own.Beware of deciding to change names too hastily: engage a savvy process first.A sound and professional name and brand evaluation process includes well-crafted market research to assess the difference between your brand equity; your competitive value proposition in consumers’ minds; your reputation and your name equity. Each of those issues are distinct in tangible ways that can help ensure you avoid costly and major mistakes.The decision to change your name should never be driven primarily around the fear of losing or keeping existing members happy or comfortable. Most consumers don’t want change nor see value in growth (despite the fact it is vital to long range sustainability). The decision to change names is a decision of long-range competitive positioning, growth of future audiences and new market expansion. Shared vision and focus are critical before considering a name change. We believe in managing intelligent internal and external strategic processes that engage stakeholders: from board members and managers, to staff and volunteers. This early level of gaining “ownership” among key stakeholders can later help you build alignment and positive focus you will need to manage the emotions and communications around any changes you make. Should your name tie strongly to the legacy and heritage of the credit union? While some credit unions want a very strong tie to their past legacy and heritage, others see no value and in fact want to move beyond their past ties, as the confusion it has created with target prospects. These are true strategic branding and growth challenges that a name and brand can either help, or hinder for years to come. What should leaders prioritize in evaluating their credit union’s future strategy? It is the responsibility of senior leaders and board members in their governance of long-term strategy, to look forward 5, 10, even 20 years without personal bias, and to ask the right strategic questions about any major change to the assets of their organization.Whatever decision your organization chooses with your name, brand, and logo, the board and management should strive to reach aligned purpose and shared focus on the future decisions together. Building a long-term strategic basis for decision-making helps leaders avoid getting mired in personal opinions and irrational fears of change, all which interfere with wise and thoughtful strategic business decisions. To fully ensure your credit union’s future success, increasing your brand relevance to your future target prospects’ lives (especially younger ones), will help you be more proactive in building a clear vision and purpose for why you exist today, while ensuring positive growth for years to come.Strum has successfully renamed and implemented over 70 distinctive new brand names for some of the largest credit unions in the U.S. and Canada. Our robust process and research evaluate name and brand equity to guide leaders to retain, modify, or change names, and evolve their brands or redesign corporate identity.To request the full “Identity Crisis” position paper, click here. 118SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Weber Mark Weber is the CEO and Chairman of Strum, a 30-year nationwide leader in financial services, branding, business intelligence analytics and data-driven strategy. With offices in Seattle and Boston, Strum … Web: Detailslast_img read more

What Mikel Arteta has told Granit Xhaka about his Arsenal future

first_imgAdvertisement Comment Metro Sport ReporterFriday 27 Dec 2019 10:30 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link966Shares Granit Xhaka started Arsenal’s first game under Mikel Arteta against Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)Mikel Arteta has told Granit Xhaka he will be allowed to leave Arsenal, but not until the summer transfer window.The Switzerland international was stripped of the captaincy by Unai Emery back in November after he clashed with his own supporters during a 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace.Following a period on the sidelines, Xhaka was gradually reintegrated and has started four of Arsenal’s last five Premier League games, only missing the defeat against Manchester City due to concussion.The 27-year-old produced arguably his most influential performance of the season so far at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, as Arsenal came from behind for force a draw in what was Arteta’s first game at the helm.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTDespite having regained his place in the side and receiving the public backing of his new manager, who earlier this week revealed he wanted to sign him for Manchester City, Xhaka wants to return to Germany and is said to have already agreed a deal in principle with Hertha Berlin.✅ First game as our head coachA thank you to all our fans from @m8arteta 👊— Arsenal (@Arsenal) December 26, 2019 What Mikel Arteta has told Granit Xhaka about his Arsenal future The Bundesliga club, who are now managed by Jurgen Klinsmann, have tabled an opening offer of €25 million (£21.3m) but the Gunners are hoping to recoup somewhere close the £35m they paid Borussia Monchengladbach for Xhaka in the summer of 2016.And, despite giving him public assurances over his future, Bild report that Arteta is happy to sanction Xhaka’s move but wants him to delay his departure until the end of the current campaign, a stance which is said to have annoyed the player’s representatives.‘Look, I will say it frankly and honestly, we are in agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin,’ Xhaka’s agent Jose Noguera told Blick on Thursday.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘We have told Arsenal’s club boss Raul Sanllehi and sporting director Edu Gaspar, as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.‘Arsenal was informed about all the steps, the player and Hertha are clear. It’s only about the transfer fee of the clubs.’Arteta, meanwhile, has already issued the Arsenal board with his list of transfer priorities ahead of the winter window with defensive and midfield reinforcements top of the agenda.Adrien Rabiot, who has largely been out of favour since his summer switch to Juventus from PSG, is a loan target, while Lille’s Brazilian defender Gabriel has been monitored.MORE: Granit Xhaka agrees deal to leave Arsenal and sign for Hertha BerlinMORE: Mikel Arteta reveals details of chat with Granit Xhaka amid Arsenal exit rumours Advertisementlast_img read more

Dutch €1bn Ballast Nedam pension fund divests property, high yield

first_imgThe €1bn Dutch pension fund of construction company Ballast Nedam has simplified its investment portfolio by divesting its direct property, emerging market debt and high yield holdings.In its annual report for 2016, it said the adjustment had increased liquidity in its portfolio and had made its investment policy more flexible as a result. The pension fund said it had reinvested the divestment proceeds across the remaining asset classes it invested in.It pointed out that its 2.7% stake in residential and retail property was too small to have enough of a real impact on its overall result, despite returns of 14.2% and 3%, respectively, last year. It also cited insufficient scale of its holdings of actively managed emerging market government bonds and high yield bonds as an issue. The holdings were 5% of its portfolio, and had gained 9% and 2.2%, respectively.Both asset classes had underperformed during the past five years, it noted.By replacing emerging market and high yield debt with investment grade credit, asset management costs had dropped from 0.6% to 0.1%, the pension fund said. According to its board, the adjustment to its portfolio had hardly affected returns or its legally required funding. Raising the risk profile of its investments would not be sensible, because of the pension fund’s relatively low coverage ratio, it said. This stood at 100.9% in March 2017. The company scheme, which has 710 active participants, 3,830 deferred members and 2,285 pensioners, posted an overall net return of 10.8% on investments.Its equity holdings (41.3%) gained 11.3%, while fixed income (58.6%) delivered a 8.3% return.It attributed two percentage points of its total result to the 55% hedge of the interest risk on its liabilities.In contrast, it lost 0.8 of a percentage point on its full cover of sterling, the dollar and the yen.The board indicated that it had not yet made a decision about the destination of the existing pension rights, which had remained in the pension fund since pensions accrual was last year transferred to the schemes for the building sector (BpfBOUW) and concrete industry (BpfBeton).In its latest newsletter, it indicated that a transfer to BpfBouw was not on for the time being, because it would mean a significant rights discount. As at the end of March, BpfBouw’s funding stood at 107.8%.The Ballast Nedam pension fund’s board also said that negotiations about joining one of the new general pension funds (APF) had not yielded results either, citing costs and continuity as obstacles.The pension fund’s accountibility body has indicated that it preferred continuing the current scheme.last_img read more

DKT Launches Sexual, Reproductive Health, Rights Program in Liberia

first_imgThe launch of DKT International’s programs in Liberia will introduce some newly manufactured products and services to the public and mark a turning point in the country’s healthcare sector.DKT, an International charitable non-profit organization that promotes family planning and HIV prevention through social marketing, will officially launch its program in the country on September 5, 2019. This event follows a year of successful implementation of its family planning initiatives in the country.The Washington, D.C.-based DKT was founded in 1989 by Phil Harvey and operates in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Its revenue largely comes from sales of low-cost contraceptives.The launch of its programs will introduce some newly manufactured products and services to the public and mark a turning point in Liberia’s healthcare sector by joining efforts with key partners such as the Swedish Embassy, Ministry of Health and representative of the United Nations Family Planning Association (UNFPA).The program will be launched on the theme, “Let’s Celebrate the Official Kick-off of DKT Project Together: Together We Can Increase the Access of Liberians to Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.”DKT International is a non-profit organization to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights.The entity strives to accomplish its mission through the sales of affordable condoms and by providing other high quality yet inexpensive options for safe sex and birth control.“In DKT, we believe that all women and men have a fundamental right to decide whether, and when to become parents, regardless of their country of origin or socioeconomic status,” one partner said.“That is why we work around the world to promote contraceptives and ensure they are widely available. We would like to see a world where every woman and man has the requisite information needed to choose an appropriate contraceptive method and where every child is wanted,” a statement said earlier.DKT International is one of the largest private providers of family planning products in the world with offices in 24 countries and a sales presence in 60 other countries.In 2018 alone, DKT provided 45 million of Couple Years Protection (CYPs), averted 32,000 maternal deaths, 10 million unsafe abortions and 13 million pregnancies through the sale of 721 million male condoms, 1 million female condoms, 101 million Oral Contraceptives, 10 million Emergency Contraceptives, and more sexual and reproductive health commodities globally.Since 1989, DKT International’s core mission has been to provide safe and affordable options for family planning, and HIV prevention through social marketing in underserved countries throughout Latin America, Africa, and Asia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more