When Gigi Hyland mentions she works with CUs, 90% of the time the person gives her a blank look, the executive director of the National CU Foundation said at a breakout session on achieving differentiation.
"The challenge is how to explain ourselves in a way that really resonates with members and consumers," Hyland said.
Hyland explained CUs are good at "walking the walk," but they need to do a better job of "talking the talk."
"You don't want to be the best-kept secret," Hyland said.
By fostering relationships with other entities in the community, such as fellow cooperatives and nonprofits, Hyland said CUs can raise awareness of who they are and better communicate the powerful message that they're there to "help people afford life."