Be an Advocate For Members

'Why aren’t we using advocacy to attract the next generation of customers?'

January 1, 2013

Instead of traditional marketing, today’s most successful brands rely on customer advocacy, says Brett King, founder/chairman of Movenbank and author of “Bank 2.0” and the new “Bank 3.0.”

He says 80% of Generation Y have bought a certain brand and 70% have visited a store or restaurant based solely on friends’ recommendations.

This is a point in credit unions’ favor, King says. “Advocacy is the great benefit credit unions have. Why aren’t we using that to attract the next generation of customers?”

He cites several ways credit unions can foster member advocacy:

  • Eliminate friction. Don’t require members to go to the branch to sign loan papers or open accounts. Invest in technology that lets members do this electronically. “Simplicity is the value-add,” King says.
  • Rethink how consumers borrow money. Lending will be more contextual in the future. “It will be about what members are doing and where they’re doing it,” he says, requiring credit unions to fulfill members’ needs when and where necessary.
  • Build journeys for members. This is what Apple does exceptionally well, evidenced by consumers’ enthusiasm for the company’s products.
  • Tell the credit union’s story visually, and try to tie emotion to your products and services.

“We have to change our behavior,” King says. “If not, we’ll be out of business. We’ve seen it in every industry.”