To Attract Younger Generations to Credit Unions Start By Explaining What One Is

To Attract Younger Generations to Credit Unions Start By Explaining What One Is
Posted: Apr 26, 2017
Categories: Millennials, Marketing
Comments: 0
Author: Paul Castner

Generational Marketing Expert Jason Dorsey Keynotes at the 2017 CSCU Annual Conference

“Things are going to change; credit unions can adapt or be left behind”. That was the message Jason Dorsey had for the over 350+ credit union attendees at CSCU’s 2017 Annual Conference. “If you don’t win in digital, there is no credit union” referring to the propensity for younger generations, millennials and Gen Z (those born since 1996) to use mobile for just about every aspect of their lives. “Opening up a new account is not exciting to a millennial”. When attending an event, the first question a millennial asks is, “What’s the hashtag?”

Dorsey says that while credit unions covet millennials, the real target should be Gen Z.  “Millennials don’t know what ‘credit union’ means,” he says, adding that some think it is a labor union or something similar. If credit unions can break through with their messaging, they stand to do very well with the younger Gen Z’ers, he explains, because younger generations are “perfectly-aligned” with credit unions on values. “Credit unions risk aging poorly if they don’t get a handle on messaging to younger generations”.

Dorsey had some specific advice for credit union leaders to change their message and gain the attention of younger consumers. Provide language on your website describing what a credit union is, and who can join. “Explain, in terms a fifth-grader would understand, that you are a not-for-profit organization. Younger generations need to understand how you’re different from a bank”, he said.

Research from CUNA backs up Dorsey's assertions. When asked a direct question about the credit union not-for-profit status, 64 percent said they were unaware credit unions were not-for-profit, according to a recent nationwide poll conducted by CUNA’s Creating Awareness Advisory Group. More importantly, 40 percent of non-members polled do not know they can join a credit union.

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