MADISON, Wis. (9/13/13)--A new white paper from the CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council offers strategies community-based credit unions can use to meet marketing and business development challenges.
Credit unions are finding that switching to a community-based charter does not necessarily mean automatic growth, according to the paper, "Developing Strategies for Community-Based Credit Unions," which offers suggestions and examples from the industry.
To stand apart, a credit union must find its market niche, the paper suggests. "Credit unions simply cannot be all things to all people," writes the paper's author, Mark Arnold, a credit union brand expert and strategic planner. "As exciting as community charters are, we must learn that trying to please everyone only really results in watering down who we are and what we do best. You must identify this niche market and do all you can to best serve it."
Arnold suggests credit unions use these strategies to identify their market niche:
Be clear. Do you know why a consumer is likely to desire membership with your credit union? What consumer needs does your credit union fulfill? What benefits and differentiators do you bring to the table to help you stand out from the crowded financial services field?
Be focused. Think from the perspective of a potential member. How often do you see marketing messages promoting local banks and credit unions claiming they can do it all? They may get some business, but could earn more if specialize in performing one or two things well, building a strong reputation and fine-tuning the marketing message. This is why you need a marketing niche strategy--it will focus on you.
Be tailored. After identifying its niche market, the credit union must craft a message that reaches and speaks to that market while reinforcing the credit union's brand identity. The message should explain what the credit union has to offer, why its different, and why potential members should join.
To download the white paper, use the link.