Monday, January 28, 2008

A Case Study, Not a Silver Bullet

Larissa and her YouTube video are tearing across the credit union blogosphere. So, in an effort to keep it moving I posted it on a technology forum I belong to. Unfortunately the first response it got was "yeah well, that unpaid board of directors at my credit union decided they wanted to get paid the big bucks. They just switched to a bank."



For the past few months I've been in this little glass box of credit union evangelists. I like being in the box. This is where the people who I believe understand the movement are. Unfortunately, in the process I've lost touch a bit with how some people view credit unions, and how some credit unions are losing touch with the movement itself.

It truly is too bad that a few credit unions are losing sight of the movement and becoming so enveloped by income and growth. These few credit unions that are "straying" from their original mission are skewing many peoples opinion of an incredible movement dedicated to the people it serves. These places are the reason a national branding campaign would fail in my opinion. Your mission is your brand, and if you are going to claim that all credit unions function in a certain way, you'd best be sure they do.

As soon as Larissa unleashed her video, talk started flying around about how it was the answer to everybody's membership woes. I'll even admit that as soon as I saw it, my first thought was "this is it, this is what we need to get droves of young people to join credit unions!" Its a good thing there are people like The CU Skeptic and my e-friend to keep me in line.

I've thought a lot over the weekend about how this video could be used for credit unions. At first I was whole heartedly onboard the re-edit-instant-national-ad-campaign bandwagon.

Then I realized that after all my talk about how credit unions need to look at their membership and potential membership, find out what they are looking for, and create products for them, taking Larissa's video and using it as a cookie cutter ad for credit unions is not the way to go.

Larissa's video is not the answer to our individual problems, it is a case study in how to be different. It teaches us what can come from reaching out to the community for talent and passion. It shows us what it takes to look at your target audience and deliver something that they find interesting.


Anonymous said...

Indeed, every CU needs to find its own voice and its own "Larissa", not re-cut this particular video. Magic happens when you empower YOUR members. I know Maine State CU will find their voice and spokesmembers!

Trey Reeme said...

Well put, Andy!

Andy said...

Thanks for the comments guys!

Lee said...

Andy, thanks for the great presention to the board last night on reaching out to Gen X/Y about credit unions. Credit unions are a great fit - local, member owned, member governed, non profit and community involved. Your comments were right on - I want to help you any way I can - just let me know.

Andy said...

Thanks for commenting Lee, its great to see a board member into this sort of thing.

The best way to help out on this site it to jump into some conversation. Let people know how you feel about things. Looking forward to some great discussion!

Rose said...

Andy, Great presentation to the Board. Need to hear more from you and your generation about what you want from a financial institution

Andy said...

Thanks Rose!

You guys were great. I'm glad you enjoyed the presentation. Looking forward to working more with you as this rolls forward.