In Support of the Credit Union Brand

Educating the public about WHAT a credit union is requires hard work and a united front, but the time is right to “tip” over into widespread recognition.


Year over year, credit unions capture top honors in customer advocacy rankings. According to market research company, Forrester, credit unions regularly score higher in customer satisfaction than their banking counterparts. In a report released earlier this year, 70% of credit union members said their financial institute – a credit union – put their interests first. According to a May 2009 Forrester report, the more than 90 million members belonging to a credit union are more likely to use an array of financial products – from deposit accounts and loans to electronic bill pay and online statement viewing – offered by their credit union. These also are loyal members who are likely to buy future financial products from said credit union.

As a predictor of retention and attrition, customer advocacy is an essential component in increasing the awareness of WHAT a credit union is. For years, studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the credit union cooperative model. Since the downturn of the economy 24 months ago, credit unions have gained momentum through increased recognition by the mainstream media. The economy is recovering – thanks, in part, to the efforts of credit unions – and the industry must be proactive in pushing the “credit union” brand beyond the tipping point. Gaining widespread recognition requires a concerted effort and hard work, but the industry’s efforts ARE working, and now is the time to embrace “credit union,” not drop it.  


April 1, 2010

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  • Sorry to be persnickety, but the correct term is "concerted effort," not "consorted effort." You are working in concert with others, not as their consort. :-)

    Beyond that, I think the point of the article is well-taken.
    Brian S.
  • Thanks for making the correction--you guys are great.

    I understand the feeling that some CUs have to run away from the term "credit union." My former CU did some research once that showed about 25% of consumers (non-members) didn't understand what a credit union is. On the other hand, among the remaining 75%, the term "credit union" evoked much higher levels of trust and other positive associations compared to banks, even among those that never belonged to a credit union. I'm guessing that's more true now than ever. That's what we risk losing, as an industry and a movement, if we leave the term "credit union" behind.
    Brian S.