Sussex County Federal Credit Union, Seaford, DE

Sussex County Federal Credit Union in Delaware had a problem. Some in the Sussex County community didn't fully understand the differences between a bank and a credit union. Some people were scared off by the word “union”, and this misunderstanding was hindering the credit union's efforts to attract new members. Member drives with traditional media were falling flat, so vice president of operations Allen Riley began looking for a better way. After months of research, the credit union decided that an electronic message center would provide the highest return on investment.

In the past, Sussex Federal Credit Union relied on traditional advertising to appeal to new members. But with newspaper circulation dwindling, it began exploring other options. Vice president of operations Allen Riley gathered bids from several sign companies before selecting Phillips Signs, a dealer of Watchfire LED signs. Watchfire's quality made an immediate impression on Riley. Riley had looked at other brands, but none impressed as much as Watchfire. “It stood out immediately because of its clarity,” he said. Still, Riley continued his research, looking closely at other LED signs owned by local businesses. “Eventually, I recognized a pattern,” he said. “All the best looking signs had a Watchfire logo on them.”

Sussex FCU was so thoroughly satisfied with their first purchase that they installed Watchfire signs at three other branches. “At our fourth location, we had to apply for a zoning variance because the ordinance wouldn't allow LED signs. We recently received that variance," Riley said. It's a relief, Riley said, because the signs are far more than an advertising tool for the credit union. “I'm a retired state trooper, and when I realized we could use these for Amber Alerts and promoting community involvement, that appealed to me right away,” he said.

Riley adds that the signs do more than look good, "the signs have proven to be incredibly effective sales tools. Since we've installed the signs, we've seen an increase in membership, checking accounts, and credit card sign-ups.”

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