My Dad, who loves to take "cheap" older cars and tinker with them, just bought a '93 Audi. Its an alright looking car. It's got a 6 cylinder engine, and has no rust, but in its current condition it isn't something somebody my age would dream of driving.
We all know that credit unions are an old institution. Unfortunately we are that early 90's kind of old (hey, that's old to me!). The good news is that there are updates and modifications that can be done to both that car and the credit union that can make it something I would proudly drive.
If the body is in good condition, keep it.
The body of this '93 Audi is in great condition; no dents, scratches, or rust.
Consider the body work like the foundation of the credit union.
It is the basic, non-profit, democratic structure of the institution. There's nothing wrong with the basic structure of the credit union, so there is no need to change it. A bit of polish and a few minor modifications never hurt though.
Do a few modifications under the hood.
Lighter pistons, bigger fuel injectors, a new intake; all of these things can make the car a bit faster. Fast is good.
The engine of the credit union is the process of moving people into the institution.
Streamline the application process. Create an online system that is simple and quick, but also robust. The faster somebody can get into an account, get things set up the way they want them, and access that account the better. Like I said, fast is good, Especially for young people.
Add an updated stereo system.
Tunes are an important part of my driving experience. No matter how nice a car, the first thing I'm going to look for is the stereo. Does it have XM or Sirius? Can I plug in my iPod? How loud is it?
The stereo of your credit union is your set of products and services.
Most places offer the "stock stereo" of financial products. CD's, savings accounts, checking accounts, and loans. If you're looking to attract a younger crowd you need something better. Create products that are loud, that are different, and (most importantly) very functional.
We've all seen them. People who drive around in a stock Honda Civic with a 3 foot wing on the back. Don't let that be you.
The problem with this is that you're trying to look cool without anything to back that up. If you're going to put a giant wing on the back, you better have something under the hood that warrants that extra down-force. Unless you've got an F1 engine sitting in there, having a giant spoiler only makes you look stupid.
So, whatever you do, don't just put out ads that tout yourself as a cool institution without the products, services, and functionality that warrant that image. You aren't going to convince Generation Y that you are cool, you have to BE cool and let them decide.
So, don't think it takes a complete dismantling of your institution to make it something attractive to a younger crowd. It just takes some shifting to make yourself relevant. If done right, you can take something old and create something cool.