Jeanne D’Arc CU’s Quest: Fun, Unique and Online
For a little over a year a revolution has been slowly building in Lowell, Mass. and Jeanne D’Arc Credit Union is at the center of it.
"We wanted to try to understand how a person entering the financial marketplace feels and that person could be 16, 22 or an immigrant," said Mark Cochran, CEO of JDCU. "When it comes to conversations about money, unfortunately, many view it as being a mystery, having anxiety about it or feeling powerless. We’ve provided financial education for years but it’s been more an incremental case-by-case basis. We wanted this to be more of a movement where we could give people the tools to feel in control of their money, rather than money controlling them."
With four high school branches, JDCU initially developed Money Strong with an eye on building deeper connections with young members. Student advisory groups served as focus groups to discover what made area teens tick, from identifying their needs and music, clothes and colors they liked to favorite local hangouts. A multi- media mix using billboards, radio and movie theater ads, word-of-mouth guerilla marketing campaigns and social media channels helped build awareness of the new microsite, moneystrong.org.
"Instead of generic concepts, we involved the young adults and high school students in the process and really listened to them," said Raoust. "What appeals to a boomer audience may not resonate as clear and loud with younger audience so we had to represent JDCU through a different prism to reach that audience."
Silveira said that word of mouth about the JDCU has been spreading not only among the younger set but also those who are looking to become more financially savvy.
"We realized pretty quickly that wanting to feel empowered about money is something that’s relevant to everyone, not just younger members," added Cochran. "There are people older than 18 who may have lost their jobs, made mistakes and need credit repair, so why not give them another chance."