To gain a bigger slice of the financial services market, a credit union trade group launched a national branding campaign Tuesday.

At its center is a slogan: "America's credit unions: Where people are worth more than money."

The Credit Union National Association is spearheading the campaign and spent $1.8 million on its development. All of the more than 11,000 credit unions will receive free kits that include a video on how to run a local branding campaign, digital and paper copies of the slogan, a new logo, and written materials explaining the program's goal.

"Research shows that when challenged to identify the fundamental differences between credit unions and banks, even many credit union members are stumped," according to the kit. "Brands are like beacons that help consumers find their way to the products and services they value."

"Credit unions care about people, not just the bottom line," said CUNA president Daniel A. Mica. "It's a philosophy founded on some very deeply-held values."

CUNA conducted studies with focus groups in 11 cities to select the slogan, and then publicized it in a six-city pilot program. The trade group said it hopes to make the slogan as memorable as American Express' "Membership has its privileges" or Avis Rent-a-Car's "We try harder."

The logo is a circle of four joined hands forming a star in the middle. CUNA is asking individual credit unions to put the motto and logo everywhere on baseball caps, membership cards, brochures, newsletters, stationery, ATMs, lobby signs, Web sites, and mailing envelopes.

The trade group said it hopes the program helps credit unions add members and assets. It may also help them consolidate their influence in Washington, Mr. Mica said.

CUNA said it plans to build on the campaign next year by distributing marketing and advertising materials to credit unions.

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