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With these changes, AFCU has experienced significant growth in loan volumes, balances, new accounts and total assets. AFCU is on track to reach their 5-year goals.


Senior Account Lead, Research, Strategic Planning, Thought Leadership, Communications Planning


Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield is the dominant health insurer in Arkansas. It was widely acknowledged that the payor system was broken, and ABCBS believed they were best situated to lead change. My team and I conducted research among business leaders, healthcare providers, consumers and employees to test ideas and language to help implement a strategy to ensure proposed changes would be adopted by all stakeholders.

Strategic Insights

  •  Research revealed that most people did not love their banks, however, the core values of the AFCU culture (community, family and integrity) resonated well among our target audience. 

  • Another key insight was that AFCU’s real competition was not other credit unions, rather it was traditional and online banks.

  • We leveraged these insights to reintroduce the brand as being able to do everything that a bank could do, with a more personal touch. 


Along with my team, we developed distinct strategies for increasing membership, loan volume, and deposits. We also featured AFCUs unique benefit of an end-of-the-year giveback based on the member’s annual activity with the credit union. These strategies included the development of an omnichannel media strategy that aimed to reach the audience at every touchpoint. In addition, we rebuilt their biggest branch—the website—to ensure a quality mobile and online experience.

Strategic Insights

  • The research revealed that ABCBS was well known and respected, but also viewed as having too much control, and only focused on self-interests. 

  • Historically the brand voice was perceived as too authoritative, leading to heightened fear and distrust.

  • The stakeholders expressed a desire and hopefulness for change, as well as a rational understanding that ABCBS could lead it, however, the brand needed to redefine their leadership role and take a more collaborative approach in the market.


  • There existed an opportunity and rational willingness on behalf of stakeholders to accept ABCBS as a leader for change, however, they must lead as a true partner or their autocratic approach would fail. 

  • They need to take demonstrable steps to listen to their partners and make purposeful change. 

  • From a brand perspective, the voice of the brand needed to change to a more open and collaborative tone.

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