Why credit unions should invest in their brands

Credit Unions have seen tremendous growth over the past decade but are facing a challenging problem with their member base—it’s dominated by an older age group that will only decrease in numbers with time.

To secure their future, Credit Unions need to add new, younger members. The largest groups of new members that present the most potential are comprised of Millennials and Generation Z—who tend to be challenging groups to attract. Adding to the challenge are the big banks who are crushing the market with spending on advertising, branch locations and digital innovation.

Leveling the playing field

While Credit Unions face an uphill battle competing with the big banks in these areas, one area they can compete on a more level playing field is brand. Millennials and Generation Z are attracted to organizations that have strong, meaningful brands—a compelling purpose, a relatable personality and a consistent experience. And while creating a strong, meaningful brand does require some investment, it doesn’t have to cost you near what you might spend on advertising or new branch construction.

The benefits of investing in your brand

There are two key benefits for organizations that invest in their brand in order to attract Millennials and Generation Z.

Your brand creates a relationship between your business and your members. It helps new members choose which financial institution to bank with and to continue banking with over time. It acts as a beacon, signaling how your organization adds to society and what good it brings to the world. A strong brand communicates these emotional connections quickly and efficiently while also telegraphing key mindsets for Millennials and Generation Z—accessibility, simplicity, usefulness and convenience.

Your brand also acts as the central organizing principle—it keeps each point of engagement consistent and coherent with the other. It also helps focus and align internal audiences and initiatives towards your business goals. This allows consumers to develop a set of expectations for your organization which in turn develops trust—a high prize amongst Millennials and Generation Z. And ultimately, trust fosters loyalty thereby growing your customer lifetime value.

The most cost-effective way to grow your member base

If your organization is facing the challenge of adding new members and you’re unsure where to start, consider starting with your brand. The upsides are powerful tools for Credit Unions in competition with big banks and larger budgets. Simply put, focusing on your brand is the most cost-effective way to grow your member base.