Credit unions and the people who work for them often get excited about the diverse financial products they have to offer their communities. We constantly see newspaper spreads and hear radio commercials advertising the local credit union’s promotional deals; “Memorial Day Rate Special!” or maybe, “.25% off auto loan rate!”

The credit union is excited, but does a member really care? Probably not. If a person isn’t specifically in the market for that type of financial product, all they see it as is another bill to pay. The truth is, credit unions are focused on loan growth. It’s not that they’re out of touch; the credit union means well, and wants to offer relevant products to their customers. The problem is, they are not thinking like those customers.

The average person is thinking about the next step they want to take in life. They are thinking about the new car they have been researching for weeks. They are thinking about what kind of marble countertop to install in their new kitchen or bathroom. They are thinking about building their new backyard patio. It’s those everyday needs, wants, and desires that the average member is thinking about when considering an application for that HELOC loan… Not what promotional rate the credit union is offering that day.

So how does a credit union really communicate with the average member? It’s all in how you speak to your audience and the messages your marketing materials send out. Does your credit union have an active presence in the community, for example sponsoring events or catering lunch for the local fire department? People are drawn to businesses they know, like, and trust. Does your credit union’s social media presence feel warm and personal? Do you provide any sort of free content that may help a member better their own life or get closer to achieving their own goals? The leaders in your institution contain a wealth of information. Credit unions should leverage this expertise to produce rich content to share unique viewpoints and solutions. By publishing original content and research on platforms such as LinkedIn, or even authoring whitepapers, your credit union’s thought leaders will build a following and will ultimately help the organization grow.

Using the strategy of being extremely personal with your members and the community at large will keep your credit union competitive in a crowded market and attract new consumers to the financial products your institution has to offer.

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