Here’s an interesting question. What is one of the longest, if not the longest, relationships a person will experience in their life?

Here’s a hint – it’s not a marriage. In fact, it may not even be friendship.

It’s a person’s relationship with their bank, and primarily, their checking account. It’s true! Just think of the longest relationships and biggest life needs and you’ll be amazed. The average length of car ownership? Eight years. Homeownership? A little better, but only 13 years.

A marriage last longer, right? Nope! Most last eight years on average. Friendships are the closest to the truth at 17 years but still not quite as long as a person’s relationship with their checking account and bank. That comes in at almost 18 years!

This provides some explanation for why it can be difficult to convince that member to move their relationship to us. We’ve asked and we’ve asked but they just don’t seem to budge! Well, let’s look at why it can be so hard to convince them to move their primary relationship to us (and why some relationships just don’t last)!

Looking back to the statistic on marriage, Robert Taibbi L.C.S.W. states that adult development moves in roughly seven years blocks. Why? Needs change. People change. Seven years is a significant amount of time. Just think about how often your needs change financially. Odds are, you aren’t in the same financial place as you were even six months ago, let alone seven years ago! The fact is, needs change and if those needs aren’t being met – sometimes it’s best to look to a new provider. And people do just that.

So why, if needs change financially, more often than romantically, do more people stay with their bank rather than move? Studies show the largest factor is pricing. Two types of costs are to be considered here – time and money. Roughly 48% of checking accounts are considered free or not having a monthly charge. Those that do charge a fee, charge $14 a month or almost $170 a year for their service. Also, the convenience. Moving a checking account isn’t easy or fun. Balancing the need to move with the cost (and aggravation) of moving is a fine balancing act. Often, the monetary savings doesn’t overcome the time expense of the move. Much like a friend is stuck in a bad marriage, our prospective members may be staying with their bank simply due to the fact that it costs so much to get a divorce! Although as the known joke says, the reason divorces cost so much is because they’re worth it.

So, if you’re looking to grow your membership but coming up short, what would make the cost of divorcing your current bank worth it? Let’s look at a few steps to consider increasing your member acquisition and target the right members for your organization.

  • Ideal Member: We often speak of the ideal members at YMC. We do this for a number of reasons. One, to help our credit unions realize that you exist to serve your members but more importantly, you exist to serve your ideal member. What type of group or people can you serve best with your existing products and processes? Remember, you can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be truly something great for someone. Focus on the type of member you want and who wants your organization. It’ll be easier to target those individuals and close the sale. In short, don’t toss such a large net – know what you’re looking for.
  • Do a relationship deep-dive: What are your worst-performing services? Based on your ideal member, take a hard look at what you are offering. Does it meet their needs? Can you cut any services, particularly those that may cost your organization, that your ideal member just isn’t interested in? Spend money on what matters to your members and cut what doesn’t. Secondly, see what matters most to your existing, ideal member. Is there a service, technology, or benefit that matters most to them? Remember that their needs change, and so should our products. Survey, call, and ask. See what’s missing and what can provide the most value to them.
  • Set boundaries: Boundaries are healthy. Know that you aren’t going to please everyone and every person in your field of membership won’t bank with your organization. That’s ok! Calculate what’s needed to focus on your ideal member. Those that fall outside of that scope can look towards other organizations as they may be just what that organization is looking for. Remember, we want our relationships to be mutually beneficial.

Need help to determine your ideal member or researching what matters most to them? Reach out to us! We help narrow the field of vision so that the only people who have eyes for you are those you are best to serve.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche


Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

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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