Save Your Credit Union From Death by 1000 Cuts

teal pair of scissors cutting yellow paper

It’s been said many times, in many ways: “You can’t cut your way to growth.”

Pruning expenses for things that no longer serve you well is a necessity, but when cuts are made to grow the bottom line, you’re looking at the wrong solution.

WAIT! Of course, the credit union marketing guy is trying to get us to spend more!

Wrong. I am a successful entrepreneur, running three small businesses and a growing real estate portfolio, as well as serving as the chair of my credit union board. I sit in your seat every day facing tough decisions.

I can confidently state no business can cut its way to meaningful growth, sustainability, and relevance.

GM, for example, is now a shell of its former self. Flashback to 1981, when Roger Smith rose from his position of accounting clerk to become CEO of General Motors. While Wall Street saw him as a spectacular businessman who was “optimizing operations” and “maximizing profits,” anyone who loved cars could see clearly he was destroying one of America’s legendary companies.

One fan of Smith’s strategy had this to say, “You don’t understand business. It costs a lot to engineer and tool a new model of car for each GM brand,” (Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac) “so Roger Smith is building all the cars on a single platform. But each brand will get its own grill and headlights and interior and taillights.”

Prior to this new era of optimizing and maximizing, GM held 46% of the U.S. car market. Nine years later when Smith was on his way out, the company’s market share had plummeted to 35.4% and is still rapidly declining.

When asked about these numbers, he defended the bottom line: “You don’t pay dividends on market share.”

Back in 2009, when GM was at its lowest point and begged the bankruptcy courts for mercy, MotorTrend magazine published this statement about the once iconic brand:

“Less than a year after celebrating its centenary, the company we knew as General Motors is dead. Once the richest and most powerful automaker in the world; the symbol of American industrial might; the engine room of the American economy, General Motors is now officially bankrupt.”

If you are old enough, you know the rest of the story. Oldsmobile died. Pontiac died. Buick is on its deathbed. GM’s U.S. market share was only 15.2% in 2021.

Are credit unions following the same path, optimizing and maximizing our way to irrelevancy? Once each credit union had a particular brand of DNA that set it apart from banks and even each other. Have we tried to homogenize our foundations of good rates and excellent service, only putting a different grille and headlights in each credit union marketing message? Have we been trying to cut our way to growth?

If your credit union is struggling to meet your growth goals or your brand is just confused, I want to help you get unstuck. Our time-tested, unique, strategic approach to marketing has helped many credit unions get unstuck and thrive in relevancy once again. I’m here when you’re ready, just drop me a line via email:

Are you struggling to meet your goals?

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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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