Spero Financial: A Case Study


A Brand that Improves the Financial Live of Its Members


Spero Financial

Website Traffic

42% Increase



Spero Financial began working with The Brand Leader in 2014. Since then, the companies’ professional relationship evolved and expanded into something much deeper and more remarkable — a genuine partnership based on mutual respect, shared values, and a common vision.

Our Services

Web Design

Award #1

Gold ADDY® Award Gold Award for Rebrand

Award #2

Silver ADDY® Award Gold Award for Video "Becoming Spero"

Award #3

CUNA Diamond Award Best Rebrand 2021

The Challenge

When South Carolina’s largest credit union decided to change their name, they trusted The Brand Leader to help them forge a new identity while honoring their history of service.

Listening and Learning

“We first started working with The Brand Leader because we put out an RFP. After narrowing our search, we met with three different companies,” said Brian McKay, President and CEO of Spero Financial. “When we left the meeting with Geoff and the creative team, the consensus among everyone was that this was the only group who really listened to us. Other groups seemed like they were trying to sell themselves and their services. But when we were in The Brand Leader’s conference room, we felt like we were heard, like the team got us. It felt like they thought we had a cool story that they wanted to help us tell. We had more or less decided by the time we got to our cars.”

Once the relationship was formalized, The Brand Leader’s creative team got to work. However, as the project developed, the team realized the credit union needed more than just a new name and a new website. They needed a new identity.

“At the time, we thought all we needed was a quick website update. But as we met with The Brand Leader team, we began questioning our premise. We started wondering whether our look and feel truly match who we are. Geoff and his team challenged us about who we are and how we present ourselves,” McKay recalled. “Because they had shown their commitment to listening and getting our story right, I trusted them to guide us through a full rebrand — and I appreciated their willingness to make recommendations and go the extra mile.”

“Because they had shown their commitment to listening and getting our story right, I trusted them to guide us through a full rebrand — and I appreciated their willingness to make recommendations and go the extra mile.”

Brian McKay, President and CEO

Spero logo
Spero mobile

The Solution

“We see great value in keeping the relationship.”

Defining the Scope

“The rebranding experience was a great learning experience for me and our organization. There was a continual redefining of the project and the scope, but always with our needs at the forefront,” said McKay. “When we completed the project, we had a decision to make: What’s the next step? Where do we go from here? Do we see value in keeping this partnership going? Ultimately, we decided yes, we see great value in keeping the relationship.”

As part of the ongoing partnership, The Brand Leader not only developed new pages for the existing website but also created an entire subsite devoted to auto financing for new and used vehicles. This decision allowed Spero to serve existing members more effectively while dramatically improving the site’s SEO ranking with search engines as part of a new member acquisition strategy.

“The Brand Leader wanted to understand our story from that first meeting, and they kept asking questions to help us define ourselves,” McKay shared. “For example, much of our business comes from our lending services, particularly auto financing. However, our online presence didn’t reflect that reality until we started working with an outside agency. The process of someone with an outside perspective trying to understand what you do winds up giving you more clarity about what you do.”

Results banner


  • 42%

    Increase in website traffic

  • 15%

    Increase in website page views

Partnering with an Agency

In addition to expanding and refocusing Spero’s brand identity, McKay credits The Brand Leader’s consulting, insights, and marketing strategies for giving him peace of mind and an increased ability to investigate new opportunities.

“As CEO of an organization this size, one of the biggest challenges I see is our key people being spread too thin. We get so caught up in day-to-day activities that we don’t have time to reflect and tell our story.” McKay continued, “We’ve always been good at execution, but we’ve lacked higher-level strategic thinking and guidance about what we could or should be doing. The confidence that I have knowing that someone else is paying attention to our brand, caring about how we look, and identifying new avenues we should be pursuing — that’s invaluable.”

Spero has realized a strong ROI from partnering with The Brand Leader.

Citing the ongoing benefits of the partnership, McKay said, “The quality and consistency of work is much higher across the board now. It’s given our marketing director the confidence that every initiative will be handled at the highest level. We get quality we can rely on, consistency we can count on.” He added, “If I had to go out and hire top-notch graphic designers, developers, copywriters, and creative directors, the cost would quickly outpace the investment we’re making with The Brand Leader.”