what we do

We discover potential, build bridges, develop solutions, and most importantly create chemistry with consumers.

If you are reading this, you're probably wondering what we can offer your credit union or maybe you are family (Hi Mom!). We help our clients with brand strategy, product launches, campaign development, website design, guerilla marketing, viral videos, infographics, and all kinds of other cool things. Lists are great, but here's what we think is important:

WE DISCOVER what's truly important to the people you serve. We find ways to make your brand more memorable, more relevant and unique to make your communication most effective.

WE LISTEN to our clients' big dreams. In turn they often become friends. Then, we make it our mission to help those big dreams come true. We put our all into making our clients successful. Afterall, there is no greater joy than see people you care about succeed.

WE DEVELOP solutions. Bring us your scariest nightmare, and we can help you solve it. In fact, our favorite work has been when the odds were stacked against us.

WE BUILD bridges. We believe collaboration is the only way to get the best result. Often birthing a mutual baby inspires even the staunchest critic.

WE CREATE chemistry with consumers. We believe that honoring your members, keying into the right emotion and making it all unique is what creates results.

It's fun to do the impossible - Walt Disney

why we do it

We believe our clients are so much greater than they know. It's an honor to help them discover this about themselves.

Everyone is called to do something. We all want to make earning a paycheck into something grander than ourselves. We help others discover this potential.

As former credit union marketers, we get it. We feel the pressure when it comes to growing loans, gaining members, sitting in ALCO meetings (yawn), and becoming the designated front-line cheerleaders. We understand the battle with lending, the arm wrestling match with compliance, the joy of birthing new ideas - and we get amped by all of it. It's a strange love affair, but we adore the art and challenge of credit union marketing. For this reason, we left the comfort and safety of our former credit unions and set out on a journey to help others shine.

We aren't lifesavers or know-it-alls. To be completely honest, we even dislike wearing suits and sitting in meetings. We simply happen to be good at what we were called to do - helping credit unions stand taller by creating chemistry with consumers. We do it through highly creative and focused ideas, tested strategies, and understanding and honoring people.

This is why we are gira{ph}.

The door to success is always labeled PUSH. - Edward Filene

who we are

Kelley Parks

Creative {Catalyst}

For 9 years, Kelley served as the Vice President of Marketing & Business Development for Call Federal Credit Union in Richmond, VA. Her love for the credit union movement runs deep as she has been an active volunteer on a local and national level. She is an innovator and has been a member of the Filene Research Institute's i3 (Ideas, Innovation and Implementation) Team.

She's a blogger, a national speaker, and a catalyst for creative marketing. She's has received numerous awards, including the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council's Marketer of the Year.

And if you ask her nicely she'll sing the alphabet backwards for you.

Lisa Moore

Story {Teller}

Lisa began her career in credit unions at the ripe age of 15 as a Teller and has experience in nearly every area - consumer lending, mortgage lending, call center, operations, and member service. (Even janitorial service, although that was short-lived since she nearly accidently blew up the building...it's a long story).

At her former post at Pioneer West Virginia Federal Credit Union, Lisa spearheaded an effort to completely differentiate the credit union from the inside out with innovative marketing tactics and most importantly a new internal culture which led Pioneer to be #7 in the country for loan growth and awarded Federal Credit Union of the Year by NAFCU.

Lisa has a strong passion for the credit union movement, college football and deep fried pickles. She's won numerous awards in her career including CUNA's Best Practices.

James Pederson

Code {Monkey}

James is a web developer from Madison, WI with a particular emphasis on front-end development. He thrives on building solutions to help clients better serve their members and visitors.

He creates addictive, usable, and accessible websites and web applications that not only function well, but also display beautifully on all devices. He's also the major brains behind {ph}ormula, our web solution for credit unions along with a lot of wild giraph web projects and innovations.

When he's not coding, he enjoys a beer, hanging out with his girlfriend, and going to see his friends' bands.

Mark Clarkson

Artist {Animator} Author

Mark creates graphics and animations, both 2D and 3D — everything from South Park-style cut-outs to photorealistic 3D spaceships conquering the galaxy.

He edits videos, and performs all manner of Photoshoppery, including photo restoration and repair. He writes fiction and non-fiction, including seven books and countless articles.

When not pushing pixels and words around for clients, he likes to make music videos featuring his scratch-built R/C planes.

No, Kelley & Lisa are not twins - or even sisters. Yes, James picked his own title. And yes, Mark really authored a bunch of books.

work we do

Here's a little sample of some of the fun work we do - from marketing campaigns to websites, innovations to product launches, guerilla marketing to viral videos. What a dream this is to get up each day and do what we love. Enjoy the show and tell.

web phormula

Simple, Powerful Web Content
Management for Credit Unions

As former Credit Union Marketers, we have first-hand experience with the best and worst in web content management systems - from clunky, inflexible admin tools to mammoth fees for hosting and service to contracts that handcuff credit unions to vendors for years.

This is why we built phormula - an easy to use , affordable, ridiculously flexible content management system that makes it super simple for credit unions to update content, and make the most of the web experience for members.

Here's what we love about it:

It's Flexible.
You'll be able to update just about anything. Change every photo, promotion, rate, and page. Plus, each admin tool is built uniquely for the credit union.

It's Intuitive.
You won't need a degree in Computer Engineering. It's beautifully designed to be simple and easy on the user.

It's Affordable.
No long term contracts. No outrageous hosting fees. You will be able to take the money you are currently spending on web hosting and servicing and put it right back into doing great work for your members.

It's Custom Built.
We build each site custom to each credit union based on what's important to your members and your brand.

It has features you wont find anywhere else.
As bonafide credit union nerds, we built in features we thought were cool and hope you will too.

Show members how much they can save on auto loans, visa credit cards, and personal loans by financing them with you. We've built calculators using your rates and compare them to the competition to show the actual savings your members can expect. Intuitively built into your pages, you can not only tell your members how you can help them, you can show them too.

We've also built an ATM and Service Center locator that's part of your website, not a link to a 3rd party. This way members see your credit union as part of a large branching system without having to experience a pop-up with a big warning they are leaving the credit union to go to another site.

words we write

We've written dozens of articles (and made a few videos) to help credit unions over the years. Here are a few of our faves:

7 Credit Union Principles

"If you want to be incrementally better, be competitive. If you want to be exponentially better, be cooperative." - unknown. Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions guided by 7 principles...

Read more..

7.2 Billion and my other favorite numbers

Dream a little dream here with me for a moment. Imagine if you worked for a financial institution that had more ATMs than the world's largest bank, rated #1 in service for 19 years running and consistently...

Read more..

Friends with Benefits: 5 BFFs every Marketer Should Have

It's a mad, mad world for credit union marketers. We are expected to increase footprints in the door, boost loan volume, raise membership, pat backs, kiss babies and cheerlead the staff to new heights.

Read more..

The Gift of Human Imagination

It's an oldie, but a goodie. Sir Ken Robinson talks about the power of creativity in his TED presentation. Go grab some coffee and shut your door. It's worth the 20 minutes. Trust me.

Read more..

Wake up and Smell the Garlic

Growing up in Charleston, WV I didn't have a colossal culinary selection for Friday night dinner with friends. However, since moving to Richmond, VA, I have acquired more liberal options for just about any occasion...

Read more..

Valuable Lessons we can learn from small credit unions

It seems many credit unions believe that "bigger is better". Many define success by "puffing out our chests" and staking asset size as a badge of honor. Having worked with many small credit unions, I've learned that small can be beautiful, nimble and closer to the credit union mission. Here are three lessons small credit unions have taught me...

Read more..

10 Pranks to Play on Your CFO

It seems that lately there is no one more stressed in the office than the CFO. Between low investment rates, Corporate Stabilization and not knowing what to do with the influx of deposits pouring in through the windows, these folks are in need of a good laugh.

Read more..

Branding Ideas

Decide what you want to be: Branding starts by deciding what really defines your organization. What are the key attributes? What do your members say about you? What do your staff say? Thats the brand.

Read more..

Be Glutonously Authentic

Located on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, NV is the Heart Attack Grill. (You read that right — Heart Attack Grill) It is decorated in red and white with an ambulance sitting at the front entrance.

Read more..

Remember when? How the Past can be Present

Ever driven down the road and a song plays on the radio that takes you back to a place and time in your past? Then suddenly you realize an involuntary smile warmly envelops your face?

Read more..

Crossing Monkey Bars

I'll admit I have a hard time letting go. I seem to attach sentimental value to nearly everything and everyone in my life. I see it happen so often in credit unions too. We hold on so tightly to our old ways, the people that no longer fit our culture, and our favorite security blanket, the status quo. Perhaps it's because credit union people by and large are kind-hearted, forgiving, and sentimenal souls. But letting go is an essential prerequisite to moving forward with just about anything worthwhile.

Read more..

speak and storytell

We have spoken at credit union events all over the country about branding, marketing, creativity, authencity coopetition and advocacy. Below are a few of our favorite topics to speak about.

Beyond Silverware:
Innovative ideas you can put in place now

During this session,we will share how to make the most of a marketing budget during these tough economic times by investing in differentiation combined with guerilla marketing as the secret weapons to develop your own super hero marketing powers. In this session, you'll discover how some simple low cost, out- of-the-box ideas can gain attention to get Results with a capital R.

Mastering the Art of Coopetition

Coopetition in the credit union movement is a term that encompasses how credit unions can still exhibit the values of a cooperative while also competing for market share with other credit unions. As more credit unions are becoming community chartered their fields of membership have and will continue to overlap. This session will discuss marketing strategies that will allow your credit union to cooperate with other credit unions to expand the movement but also compete for our individual piece of the market.

What are your ingredients?
It's time to discover and differentiate

Branding includes all the emotions that people have about your credit union. And unfortunately, if you do not actively create and reinforce your brand image, your members will craft one for you. Now more than ever, credit unions have extra challenges from a limited staff, budgets and resources. Having the discipline to stop being all things to all people, but instead being amazing things to just the right people is the focus of this idea lab. You'll walk away with some implementable ideas for your credit union on how to connect, engage and build the right community for your members.

Integrating Advocacy into Your Marketing

Most credit union employees, volunteers, members, and potential members are aware of the increased role the government will play in the financial services industry as more regulations are introduced. While your league and CUNA are continually working for the credit union and it's members to insure these regulations will be beneficial, what role should the credit union's marketing play in promoting advocacy. Find out how advocacy can be integrated into your marketing strategy.

connect with us

First Name:

Last Name:

Credit Union Name:

Your Job Title:

Email Address:

Phone Number:

Describe your needs:

804.307.6333

kelley@giraphcu.com

{ Warning: People often joke about Kelley's obsession with checking email. Go on, put her to the test. If she doesn't respond within hours, she owes you a drink. If it's not by the end of the day, send a search party. }