The Business Breakdown

This week, retail sales are up, and maybe it’s time for credit unions to rethink some business models.


New purchases and new ideas. In today’s world, the fresh idea gets the attention, and the sleek new product gets the dollars. So, this week, we’ll discuss the new ways credit unions can help members and their own bottom line.

  • Retail Rights Itself:  Retail sales jumped 8.9% year-over-year. The higher-end items and stores are riding a steady wave of improvement. The Breakdown: Sure, some people are able to buy what they please at their favorite stores. But some of your members (and most likely most of them) might live in a different reality. But you can use retail to your advantage. Tack a gift certificate onto a new account opening marketing campaign. Have an auction at the credit union to generate comraderie (and probably business). There are tons of ways to spend for members to get them to repay you with loyalty.
  • Less Paper, More Mobile: Conferences and other large-scale events tend to rely on reams of paper to produce event-related collateral. Some events are shifting to mobile apps for attendees though. The Breakdown: This story presents two questions. First, what are the inefficiencies in your credit union’s operations? Where are you producing tons of paper collateral when a simple mobile app could do the trick? Second, where does your credit union stand in the mobile world? Do you have an app for members who want to bank on their smartphones? You should at least be investigating these two questions.
  • Travel for You: As competition intensifies, booking sites are doing everything they can to maximize convenience and personalization. The Breakdown: The reality of the situation is that we live in a world where the younger you are, the more special you think you are. You can blame social media for that. So now, consumers want easy, fast and customized just for them. You can accept it or get left behind. So how is your credit union customizing its products to meet individual member needs? You want a lineup of offerings that are flexible but still stable, and you want members to be able to communicate with the credit union in whatever way works for them. Personalization has a strong correlation with success these days.

May 10, 2011



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