Coastal FCU Seeks Balance In Unveiling its New Image

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The $1.48-billion Coastal Federal Credit Union here wanted to balance projecting a more modern image with keeping the same brand that has led it through rapid expansion, especially during the past year.

So the 140,000-member CU kept the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, the symbol of "endurance and guidance" it has used as a logo for more than a decade, but has made it sleeker to represent more modern times.

"We don't look at it as a change, more as an evolution," said David Faleski, the CUs marketing vice president. "Our hope is to continue with the lighthouse. Simply make it more cutting edge."

Coastal, which was chartered in 1967, added six branches last year and now has 20. It plans to add about three more this year.

The old logo was outdated and it wasn't easy to scale it for online or print purposes and was also less detailed than the new image being deployed, explained CU spokesperson Joe Mecca.

A dark blue color used in the previous logo is being replaced with a "warmer blue" that represents the East Coast home of Coastal FCU, Faleski added. That color already decorates the newer branches. Costs are being kept low because conversion is being worked "over time."

Of higher profile are two Chrysler PT Cruisers that have been painted in "coastal blue" and are being driven by business development officers to community events, sponsor visits, commerce events and others to promote the renovated brand at low cost, Faleski said. The vehicles are adorned with a surfboard on their roofs with the Coastal FCU name and logo.

"Both of them together cost less than a billboard," Faleski added. "So far the response has been good according to word of mouth from employees that deal with vendors," he said.

The credit union primarily serves about 1,000 employee groups mostly in Raleigh and Charlotte. Its original name was IBM Raleigh Employees FCU to reflect the CU's original field of membership.

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