Credit Union Marketing Lies We Tell

First, let’s get on the same page about what a LIE is. A lie is an untruthful assertion in which the speaker intends to cause belief in the truth of a statement that the speaker knows to be false. Hence, a lie involves an intention to deceive. The speaker also implicitly assures the listener the statement made is true.

Do I think that marketing folks intend to lie? Of course not, and especially not credit union marketers. But it happens. Often and unknowingly.

“Marketers are paid to make promises that businesses have no intention of keeping.” Jeffrey Eisenburg said this in a presentation years ago, but he wasn’t talking about marketing. He was talking about company culture, that invisible component that causes businesses to rise or fall.

Culture is built upon three pillars within your credit union:

  1. Story is what your credit union tells the public in your marketing messages. Is your story a fairy tale or is it a mirror?
  2. Culture is an inside job. You cannot buy it or outsource it. Even the best marketer cannot create it. Culture is something authentic that just happens; it’s what your employees feel when they work for you.
  3. Experience is what your employees actually deliver to your members daily.

Does that experience live up to the story your credit union’s marketing messaging told?

The story you tell in your marketing determines the experience that your member expects. But whether your member receives it will be determined by your culture. CEOs and other leaders like to believe their members are receiving the experience they intend for them to have. But the best intentions are no match for company culture.

Gut check! Look back at what you’re telling members about your credit union.

“Easy online application” followed by a clunky outdated application that gets abandoned more times than it gets completed.

“Great member service” followed by a monotone “nexxxt” at the teller line as another transaction is completed by checking the boxes.

When members hear one thing from your credit union and experience something different, the disconnect erodes trust, loyalty and eventually your bottom line. What’s your credit union’s truth?

Find Your Brand Story

From strat plans to rebrands, YMC President and CEO, Bo, is passionate about helping financial institutions come up with a winning formula. If you’re ready to go beyond the SWOT, you can email him at

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