GAFCU unveils new brand identity as HopeSouth
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
New name and image marks credit union’s evolution in a changing marketplace
ABBEVILLE, S.C. – Greater Abbeville Federal Credit Union today unveiled a major re-branding initiative, changing its corporate name to HopeSouth Federal Credit Union. The endeavor includes a new graphic identity, logo and website.
“Our new logo change is not just an outward appearance. With our new brand, we intend to build on our past legacy and establish a strong emotional connection with our members,” said CEO Faye Crocker. “It’s all about taking the success we’ve had and letting more people know about it.”
HopeSouth’s roots date back to 1972 as Flexible Tubing Employees Federal Credit Union, serving the people who work in the Abbeville plant of Flexible Technologies Inc. In 1985, the credit union became Greater Abbeville Federal Credit Union as it expanded its membership to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Abbeville County.
Over time, the acronym GAFCU became more synonymous within the community. As an Abbeville institution for more than four decades, GAFCU had strong verbal recognition but the name lacked interest and a strong visual identity.
HopeSouth is a lifestyle brand anchored by the credit union’s mission to be a source of hope for a financially secure future. It equally reflects the spirit of its location – distinctly southern, rich in heritage and natural beauty.
“HopeSouth is a vastly different credit union than most people realize,” said Chairman Mark Hall. “In many respects, our brand is now catching up with the many changes we have made. Our core values haven’t changed, but we have significantly broadened our capabilities. This brand represents our aspirations and direction for how we will grow to meet the future needs of our community.”
The new name and brand identity is not the result of a buyout or bank merger. Therefore, there are no changes to account numbers or how members bank. GAFCU-branded checks, cards, loan payment coupons, deposit slips and more will still be accepted.
With $19 million in total assets, the credit union has experienced steady growth in recent years. In 2016, it served 3,408 members, depositing more than $1.67 million to bring total member deposit to $15.2 million, up 12.5% from the previous year. With a loan portfolio of $13.3 million, the credit union grew year-to-year loans by 6.4%.
Whereas other financial institutions seek to maximize fee income or high-interest loans, HopeSouth seeks to offer fairly priced loans to members with imperfect, limited or no credit history. As a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and a Community Development Credit Union (CDCU), HopeSouth is committed to serving low-income communities.
“Whatever your personal journey, we are here to offer you financial empowerment,” Crocker said. “Better living made possible – this is how banking should be.”
The naming and brand process was developed and managed by your marketing co. based in Greenville, South Carolina.
About HopeSouth Credit Union
HopeSouth Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative with the designation of Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Community Development Credit Union (CDCU). Established in 1972, HopeSouth serves members who live, work, worship or attend school in Abbeville County.