Live From The 1: Youthful Products for a Younger Membership

This entry was posted by Monday, 12 July, 2010
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Viva Las Vegas! I’m excited to be blogging live from the 1 Credit Union Conference in Las Vegas with Courtney and Meghann over the next couple days. We’ll be posting some highlights and takeaways from key sessions right here on CUNAverse (Note, they’ll be a little looser than our usual posts). Also, for more live conference coverage, you can check out News Now’s updates, CU Grow, and of course a twitter search of the conference hashtag #the1cuconf for real-time information from conference-goers.

This morning I had the pleasure of introducing Brent Dixon, Young Adult Advisor at Filene Research Institute (USA), and Ross Lambrick, Regional Manager at Credit Union Australia (Australia), for a very relevant and important session – “Youthful Products for a Younger Membership.”

Ross kicked off the packed session with information on the demographic and the current Australian environment. For example, Gen Z, Y and X together make up 61% of the Australian population but only 20% are credit union members.

What I found most interesting were his examples of what both banks and credit unions are doing right in Australia. Highlights:

  • Bendigo Bank partnered with a college to mentor students which exposes them to issues and practices in the finance industry as career development.
  • Commonwealth Bank has a vision to have every child be financially literate – they offer and extensive school banking and financial literacy program.
  • Community First Credit Union has an online greeter, Lisa,  you can interact with on their website.

What do Gen X & Y want from their financial institution?

  • Convenience
  • Control
  • Problem resolution
  • Friendly, courteous and knowledgeable staff
  • Interested in the values of the brand they buy

Ross ended with his creed – “Change the life of a member for the better.”

Brent opened it up with the landscape – “credit unions need Gen Y.” Highlights: 

  • 47 is the average age of membership
  • From 1985-2005, Gen Y members declined

So what do you do? Cosmetics aren’t the answer and it’s not just about being “edgy.” You need an oustanding product to begin with – master the basics first.

Some successful product ideas he mentioned:

  • Give your product a customizable face
  • Debit card rewards
  • Prize-based savings
  • First credit cards (relationships last on average 15 years) are key. Hint: market to parents.

Think Twitter and social media is just about what people had for lunch? Wrong. Twitter can also be used for real change and political action in places like Iran.

It’s also changing our idea of “now” and we’re always “on.” He mentioned a statistic that 48% of people check online activity when waking up in the middle of the night. What can your credit union do? You need to listen and interact with members in real-time because it is becoming the expectation.

For your content to go viral (or to even be watched), you need to be original, creative, emotional, and awe-inspiring. Luckily, credit union stories are all of those things.

4 Responses to “Live From The 1: Youthful Products for a Younger Membership”

  1. Brent is right: one of the best ways to reach Gen. Y is to reach their parents. We have also seen great success with the Prize Based savings account. Thanks for sharing the information from the conference!

  2. Ross and Brent nailed the major concepts! I also like to mention during presentations that young adults’ earning potential is our largest asset. So connecting with our generation now will benefit the credit union and the member in the future.

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