TECU Credit Union is taking a quantum leap of sorts.
The credit union, which started as the Telephone Employees Credit Union when it was chartered in 1938, will now be known as Quantum Credit Union.
“The main thing that we were looking for is something that would be distinctive … that we felt like would resonate with the consumer,” says president Chuck Bullock.
This is the credit union’s second name change.
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It originally was named for telephone employees because it served them and their families exclusively.
In 1996, the credit union expanded its field of membership to anyone living or working in Sedgwick County and its contiguous counties. Then in 2000, the credit union merged with one for employees of KG&E, and the name became known by the TECU acronym, which stood for “telephone” and “electric” for the KG&E employees.
Bullock says that name “doesn’t really tell who we are.”
“We’ve had this discussion going on really for quite a few years,” he says.
TECU’s board members, most of whom are current or former telephone company employees, voted to rebrand with the Quantum name.
“It helps provide us with a new identity,” Bullock says.
He acknowledges that there are risks with changing a name.
“We have tried to communicate to our existing heritage members … we have not lost sight of our roots,” Bullock says.
In fact, the telephone lineman figure from the credit union’s former logo will be woven into some signs and products “to still have that bit of heritage that folks will still recognize.”
In addition to trying to be distinctive, Bullock says, there was a second goal with the new name.
“We’re trying to diversify our membership by attracting a younger demographic, and we felt like with the Quantum name, we were able to do that.”
The credit union now operates in 14 counties and has 8,400 members and three sites.
“We sometimes like to call it two and a half,” Bullock jokes.
There’s a downtown branch at Second and Broadway, a main office on 21st Street across from Sedgwick County Park and a small office inside Wolf Creek Nuclear Operating Corp. that the credit union acquired with the 2000 merger.
“Overall, the reaction has been positive,” Bullock says of the name change.
He says some are still grappling with it, though.
Bullock says he wants people to know there wasn’t a merger, and members’ favorite representatives aren’t going away.
“Those are the fears that we’re trying to allay.”
He says rebranding was a difficult decision that’s resulting in quite a bit of work, too.
“You don’t realize until you dig into it.”
There are signs and stationery to change, of course, but also all kinds of point-of-purchase materials and other things it’s hard to think of on the front end.
“There is more than you ever imagined.”