Help Make Fairy Tales Come True

How do you tell your story to your members as you help them to write their own?

March 25, 2013

“Once upon a time” is a phrase that immediately captures an audience with visions of wicked stepmothers, distressed damsels, and a handsome prince.

Fairy tales, according to Wikipedia, often serve as vehicles to examine the human condition. Crucial storytelling elements include a troubled protagonist who beats astounding odds and frequently finds success in conflict resolution.

Often, another character provides assistance in meeting goals.

Cinderella is a hard worker facing extraordinary odds. Fortunately her Fairy Godmother facilitates a dance appearance, but even there Cinderella struggles with curious observers, rigid time constraints, and, of course, a pesky footwear problem.

Cinderella’s quest for happiness remained fraught with issues post-ball, but eventually she lives happily ever, thanks to her own determination and some unwavering support.

Like Cinderella, we all face conflict. Financial stability can disappear. Our mortgaged castles spring leaks. Coaches eventually turn into pumpkins and shoes get lost.

How do you let members know that your credit union, perhaps not unlike Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, is there in their hour of need? Do members consider you a constant presence to assist in moments of both financial hardship and in good times—like when funding that vacation far, far away?

How do you tell your story to your members as you help them to write their own?

“The best way to read a fairy tale is to throw yourself in.” --W.H. Auden, American poet

Mobile commerce fantastically appears in research findings this week.

Mobile Shopping Catches on With Affluent Consumers,” says an eMarketer report. “Mobile shopping among affluent luxury shoppers in the U.S. saw substantial increases in 2012; the percentage of respondents shopping or purchasing via mobile increased from 22% to 38%. Additionally, the number of affluents doing some kind of mobile product research more than doubled, increasing from 23% to 51%.”

Another interesting demographic is cited in “Hispanic Mobile Banking Trends: Mobile Banking Usage on Tablets & Smartphones.” Here you’ll learn “Almost 30% of respondents…would in fact switch from their current bank for a bank that offered mobile banking services, and this presents a large opportunity for financial institutions.”

Also, “1 in 4 Tablet Users to Pay Bills Via Their Devices by 2017, Juniper Report Finds.” Interesting discoveries on mobile use trends include:

Perhaps American consumers are already on to these mobile banking trends. “Mobile Users Deposit More Than $40B in Checks via Smartphones, Tablets,” says Mitek in a Mobile Commerce Daily article. Mobile makes life convenient, and more than 12 million users have made mobile deposits.

“Given the popularity of mobile banking services with users, banks offering these services are finding this can help them attract customers.” Further, “Mobile deposit is the No. 1 mobile feature sought by all smartphone and tablet owners who would switch banks for mobile banking.”

Banks are happy to help make mobile magic for consumers as “The percentage of the largest financial institutions offering mobile remote deposit capture has almost tripled in the past two years, with 64% of the top 25 retail banks offering mobile deposit in 2013, up from 48% in 2012 and 22 percent in 2011.”

The Federal Trade Commission waves a wand for consumer protection issues with regard to mobile in “Paper, Plastic…or Mobile? An FTC Workshop on Mobile Payments.” 

The agency outlines three primary issues of security concern for consumers with mobile:

Clearly, mobile devices are an area of growing interest for both consumers and providers. How might you incorporate mobile in your services to entrance your members?

“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” --Hans Christian Andersen

Technology is an integral part of consumers’ daily lives, and its wonders are unending. See “Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influence Report” to learn exactly where marketers are targeting their social media spend, and where dollars make the most influence.

Reportedly, “where brands are spending is not fully aligned with how and where consumers are seeing value and being influenced.” Various social platforms are compared and social and digital marketing budgets are examined.

In another glimpse at how to make marketing a perfect fit, learn “Why Good Questions Trump Even Your Best Answers,” as suggested by Duct Tape Marketing.  This interesting article prompts readers to consider what conversations need to occur to get marketers and clients reading from the same book.

“Great consultants ask great questions instead of trying to provide great answers. It’s actually a valuable service in and of itself and demonstrates that you are there to guide your client towards their objectives.”

“Know the story your members want to hear” is perhaps an important takeaway from this thought provoking article.

No story worth telling is free from conflict, and the best ones are loaded with it. Your members have specific financial needs for you to address and help solve.

In the process, you might fear “losing a slipper” when confronting issues like security concerns, bugs to be worked out in implementation of new technologies, and preparation of targeted marketing strategies and messages.

But you don’t need a magic wand to make fairy tales come true for your members. The glass slipper will fit perfectly once you are on the same page.






Lora Bray is a research librarian at CUNA.