Published in Finance

Lake Michigan Credit Union to unify brand under ‘LMCU’ amid growth in Michigan, Florida

BY Wednesday, October 26, 2022 10:41am

GRAND RAPIDS — Lake Michigan Credit Union has launched a rebranding to create a common brand identity in Michigan and Florida using just its initials.

The largest credit union in the state, Grand Rapids-based Lake Michigan Credit Union will go by the shortened “LMCU” as the brand identity beginning Nov. 1. The brand continues to use a blue logo with a stylized “LM” in the shape of the Lower Peninsula, but it will now combine with “LMCU” rather than the credit union’s full name that’s been used for years. The corporate entity will remain known as Lake Michigan Credit Union.

“With our growth across Michigan and Florida, the timing is right to bring our brand under one strong, consistent logo. Lake Michigan Credit Union is already known as LMCU, but now we are bringing it into our official brand across all of our communities,” credit union officials wrote in an email to members. “So, while we still are Lake Michigan Credit Union — you can officially call us LMCU.”

Lake Michigan Credit Union has 60 branches, including 20 in markets on Florida’s Gulf Coast where it has opened new offices and made three acquisitions since 2015 and uses LMCU as the local brand.

Changing to just LMCU in Michigan creates a shorter, common consumer brand identity in both markets, said Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Don Bratt.

“We changed the branding in Florida first to LMCU at all of our branches. That’s been going on for the last couple of years. Then it’s just a natural progression to roll that out into Michigan, too, so that it’s consistent in both our Florida footprint and our Michigan footprint,” Bratt said.

Another driver of the change was the 2021 sponsorship deal for what is now known as LMCU Ballpark, home of minor league baseball’s West Michigan Whitecaps. The credit union used just LMCU for signs. The letters “really popped” and “went over very well,” accelerating the brand conversion in Michigan, Bratt said.

Lake Michigan Credit Union entered the Florida market in mid-2015 with the opening of a mortgage office in Bonita Springs, followed by a full-service branch that November in Ft. Meyers and the April 2018 acquisition of Encore Bank in Naples. Most recently, LMCU closed in December 2021 on the acquisition of Tampa-based Pilot Bancshares Inc.

LMCU as of June 30 had nearly 444,000 members with more than $12 billion in total assets and total deposits of $10.5 billion, according to a quarterly financial report to the National Credit Union Administration. The credit union’s loans totaled $8.6 billion, including more than $1.2 billion in total commercial loans.

Through the first six months of 2022, LMCU recorded $78 million in net income, according to the NCUA financial report.

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