Credit Union brands: consistency and market focus keys to success.
RATIO wrote this on Jan 30

Recently, Business in Vancouver published a story related to the changes that have occurred with BC’s Credit Unions. The dichotomy of growing membership but fewer credit union brands is interesting and presents a challenge. The trend towards mergers in the sector means there are now fewer than 40 credit union brands compared to 1996 when there were around 100.  Here: BIV story; Jan. 27, 2015  and  List of biggest credit unions in BC

Mergers in a sector that  has been intrinsically linked  to local community, presents a challenge from a branding point of view. We are often in conversation with our Credit Union clients about how best to reflect the specific cultures and communities that they serve. We think it is important to develop clear strategy for balancing overall operational and brand experience with the need to connect with individual communities.

Credit Unions are about community, people and relationships. So, how do Credit Unions  keep brand consistency across credit union branches and communities? How does Credit Union branch design support those brand characteristics that set it apart from competitors and deliver on the promise of community support?  See our Distinctive Thinking piece on  how Credit Unions community branch design helps deliver on brand promise, and high value transactions.  We recognized that the value of the brand hinged not only on organizational consistency but also on the individual relationships built between branch staff and members in each community. Supporting these relationships is the reference for every design decision made.

RATIO’s perspective comes from decades of experience helping organizations carry their brand promise over to the built environment.  Where does a brand live?   It lives with customers, employees, product attributes, customer service, online, marketing — and the physical place of  business. Your place of business is a visible asset, and connecting your brand is a value-based strategy that reinforces what your organization stand for.

In the case of financial institutions, how does RATIO translate the important mission of serving member connections and fostering long-term relationships into a consistent brand across each branch network? And, still deliver unique community branches? Here are a few examples  of our  recent work:

Envision Financial

Island Savings

Salmon Arm Savings & Credit Union

Vancity Branch renovations


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Canada’s Top 100 biggest infrastructure projects
Ratio wrote this on Jan 23

Recently, a list of Canada’s Top 100 biggest  infrastructure projects  worth $157.9 billion was published by ReNew Canada Magazine.  (Top 100 infrastructure list here )  The controversial Site C Dam project took the top spot on the  list, valued at  $8.775 billion.  British Columbia was reported as having 21 of the 100 projects identified, worth $30.7 billion and coming in as the number 2 province as far as the Top 100 biggest infrastructure projects go.  Included in this list, is  BC Hydro’s ambitious Ruskin Generating Station project (#64 on the list), a machine age hydroelectric station, still producing power but needing numerous upgrades to meet modern operating standards. RATIO is part of BC Hydro’s team on this complex, and interesting project. The Ruskin Generating Station has a historic role in British Columbia, significance to local and First Nations residents, and 1930’s Art Deco architecture. Read more about the Ruskin  project here  and  in a previous RATIO News post focusing on the Ruskin project.

Not surprising, energy projects dominated the Canada-wide list. The Top 100 includes 31 energy project, 21 transportation projects, 17 transit, 21 buildings, five water/wastewater, two each of carbon capture and remediation, and one waste management. Within the energy project category are 14 hydroelectric projects, nine transmission, three natural gas, three wind, one nuclear, and one coal project.

RATIO’s  history with  infrastructure projects include a long line of prominent government, industrial and hydroelectric projects including Pacific Highway Border Crossing, Revelstoke Dam (shown in the photo above), Kootenay Canal and Peace Canyon Dams and Generating Stations. Less prominent, but equally important to our communities are our projects like East Langley Pump Station, Iona Water Treatment Plant, Kanaka Creek Watershed and Ladysmith Water Treatment Plant.

More coverage about the Top 100 here on Hydroworld 

BC Hydro’s Video on the Ruskin project 

Check out our Project files under Infrastructure 

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