Serving niches can still build brand recognition for credit unions as well as their business services programs.
Speaker Lynda Falkenstein shared that message with the 130 attendees at CU Business Group's National Business Services Conference Tuesday. She is the author Nichecraft: Using Your Specialness to Focus Your Business, Corner Your Market, and Make Customers Seek You Out. Falkenstein said having a focused niche can go far in eliminating the competition.
Citing well-known brands such as Mercedes Benz and Nordstrom, Falkenstein said reputations and brand name recognition can make credit unions stand out from the rest. Pricing may not even be an issue if members are loyal to a specific brand that delivers.
"What makes your credit union special and unique?" and further, "What distinguishes your business program from others?" were questions asked by Falkenstein, as she worked with attendees on describing their personal and credit union niches.
Falkenstein outlined a nine-step process to creating a niche, including balancing preliminary focus with a credit union's wish list, seeing the credit union through a person's world view, and performing a "test of specialness."