The fundamental question that credit unions grapple with today is:
What is the difference between a credit union and a bank?
The line separating credit unions from banks continues to blur. Increasingly, banks are positioning themselves as community oriented and socially conscious financial institutions. In Generation Why? Why Today’s Youth Should Be Today’s Members, Paris Ward discussed the issue of one bank appealing to the 16-25 year old demographic by emphasizing its mission statement of “people, planet, and profit” through community redevelopment.
How then may credit unions distinguish themselves from banks to this age group? One exciting way to reach these young adults is through their primary mode of communication – the online channel. According to an article from the Wall Street Journal, young Americans, in particular, are familiar with streaming video – specifically YouTube.com. About 70% of the site’s registrants are American and about 50% of them are under 20 years of age. Belonging to this generation, I am a living example of these numbers, receiving daily emails from friends and family about the latest humorous videos posted on the web.
Therefore, using streaming video, whether it be posted on YouTube.com or elsewhere, to convey a message, such as the difference between credit unions and banks, is a familiar way for this group to understand the message.
One way a credit union could easily capitalize on this opportunity is to include a link to BankerSpank.com on its website. BankerSpank.com has created several short parodies of the now famous “Mac vs. PC” commercials, each of their episodes addressing a specific difference between banks and credit unions. You might wonder, “Why would a simple link like this promote my credit union image?”
Because the response from some of my peers has been:
1. “Wow, credit unions are cool.”
2. “Oh, that’s the difference!”
3. “Maybe I should join one of those…”
One example of a BankerSpank.com banner a credit union could post on their site.
Explaining the difference in their language and using a medium they’re already familiar with is an innovative and creative way to communicate why a young person should join a credit union.
Learn more about how to reach the 16-25 year old demographic at the upcoming webinar, 3 Rs: Recruiting, Reaching, and Retaining Younger Members hosted by Callahan & Associates.