Take a Walk on Credit Unions’ Wild Side

Close up of gray elephant head

Credit union leaders, like Tiny Tim (millennials and younger, you can google this one), like to tiptoe through the tulips. We say fluffy things and regurgitate the generic credit union talking points, but we fail to talk to people like, well, humans. We must allow ourselves to get real with them.

Spewing a marketing message about the not-for-profit cooperative structure fails to empathize with our members’ problems – often very heavy problems that are affecting their financial situation or their financial situation may be leading to health issues or worse.

We never want to address the elephant in the room. We don’t recognize that financial service does not occur in a vacuum but as a piece of our members’ lives. Our warm and fuzzy, decades-old credit union talking points that we’re here for our members, while noble, don’t resonate with young consumers. You know, those unicorns called millennials you’ve heard existed but aren’t quite able to ever catch.

Many credit unions are not willing to cross that minefield of change. It’s too risky. Ya gotta play it safe. Where you are is comfortable. Therein lies the problem: Your metaphorical fetal position is not safe, because that won’t take your credit union where you want to go.

As the famous philosopher Lou Reed once said: “Hey babe, take a walk on the wild side.” Here are a few tips to enter the minefield, take a walk on the wild side, and have a better chance of achieving the vision of growth you have for your credit union:

  1. To make the sale, you must win the respect of your audience.
  2. You cannot take a person where you want them to go, until you first meet them where they are.
  3. Embrace Empathy: Feel what they feel. Try to see through their eyes.
  4.  Use the words they love.When you meet your members in that safe place, and establish the bond of a common perspective, then you can gently begin to give them new information.
  5. People will never change their minds if you continue giving them the same information they were given in the past.
  6. Win the heart and the mind will follow. The mind will always create logic to justify what the heart has already decided.

Why would anyone ever knowingly walk into a minefield? To get to the other side.

Are you trying to get to the other side, where growth and success are in abundance? How do you cross the minefield to get there? Have you been avoiding it because your fear (and others) are telling you how dangerous it is?

For more than a decade, Your Marketing Company has designed strategic credit union marketing plans proven to take credit unions to the next level. Once you push past the fear and discomfort to get a small taste of success, you’re on the right track.

Ready to take your marketing to the next level? Fill out the form for your FREE downloadable e-book on how to have your best strategic planning event ever.

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Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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