I like to keep things simple. It's a big part of the reason why I am and will probably always be in the 'I love Macs' corner. To me it's easy and almost intuitive to use whether it's the iMac or iPhone 4. I'm not here to make and Apple commercial or anything but I wanted you to understand where I'm coming from when I share that despite being a Mac I'm intrigued by the way the Windows phone presents all the information I need on the tiles without me having to open an app. Why does any of this matter? It got me thinking that the reason why so many of the ongoing credit union industry debates never seem to move past the discussion phase is because it boils down to extremes of all or nothing.
For example, everyone recognizes the need for a youth infusion on staff and in the boardroom. Somehow the simple need for leadership continuity gets lost in translation and becomes the drawing of battle lines between the value of seasoned individuals vs. inexperienced but eager and capable individuals. Why is the assumption that to make room for the young, those over a certain age have to be pushed out? Why can't it be that we value the experience and the fresh perspective and concepts both have to offer? There are credit unions that have had some success with their associate directors, advisory groups and the like as a way to build that interest in among the young while recruiting the talent in areas most needed- and it's not always just about reaching Gen Y. In an interview I did with Carol Phillips of Millennial Marketing she shared that a lot of what is geared toward Gen Y will eventually just be what every consumer is looking for. After all who doesn't want their banking to be more convenient?
Another example is the national awareness campaign debate, which at this point has become like the play "Waiting for Godot." If the bone of contention is what will be THE message, then why not take a page from Geico and have several campaigns that cover the top three to five bullet points? Isn't the strength of credit unions how they can help members? Don't consumers just need to be made aware of how what CUs do-financial education, community involvement, etc.-ultimately helps them in their everyday lives? Does the message boil down to how CUs are relevant?
I actually liked Central 1 Credit Union's Be Remarkable campaign (beremarkable.com) that shows how credit unions are relevant to consumers. It was designed with reaching younger members but the value of credit unions helping them reach their goals big or small I think can speak to everyone. I don't claim to have any answers beyond it's time to stop talking about all reasons or fears why something can't be done and just move to action. Maybe think smaller segments instead of some big huge idea waiting for buy in.
I know: too basic. I'm overly optimistic and na?ve. Hey, what can I say-I like to keep it simple.