When it comes to connecting with younger members some credit unions have taken a creative approach.
What began as an interest in creating Gen Y-focused television spots for SAFE Federal Credit Union evolved into more than a year of research that included focus groups to determine the needs of area youth.
"We realized that we had to do more and the best way to get the attention of the generation while getting our feet wet was to appeal to their specific needs and educate them to the point that they feel credit union membership is the best choice," said SAFE FCU Marketing Manager Lynn B. Wright.
The result was the recent launch of the Sumter, S.C.-based credit union's UnlikeABank.com microsite. The site features a series of funny, edgy videos that drive home the many ways SAFE FCU is unlike a bank, from the advantages of being local and community based in making loan decisions to its basic mission of helping locals with their money. In addition to the videos, locals can find contests and blogs that offer advice on everything from good money habits to a list of the best Web resources for house hunters.
With an eye on keeping the site vibrant, interactive and fresh, SAFE FCU has tapped its younger staffers to provide input, feedback and post weekly blogs based on topics they're interested in. According to Wright, the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive from staffers and members. She added that the microsite is only a first step in what will be an ongoing effort to learn more about its younger members' wants and needs so that the credit union can deliver the best possible experience.
Learning more about members to improve service has also been the spark for Ventura County Credit Union's "Break Free From Your Bank" campaign.
As part of the campaign, the Ventura, Calif.-based credit union has posted a Web banner that links to a survey asking current and prospective members how they have or plan to break free from their bank. VCCU will collect each contributor's name and e-mail address for future marketing purposes, as well, bulking up its contact list with people interested in VCCU and what they have to offer.
"We are very excited about this campaign because we are asking people to do something very simple and important, and that is to look at their options," said Tina Estes, director of marketing for VCCU. "We decided to take on a new attitude this year and really get the word out on the benefits of credit unions to our community and bring in new members. And this is our first big step."