Making Finances ‘smpl.’ for Young Adults

South Carolina FCU's new campaign targets consumers 25 and under.

November 11, 2013
At a smpl. kickoff event, South Carolina FCU gives away prizes such as skateboards and bikes.

South Carolina Federal Credit Union’s “smpl.” program— designed for consumers age 25 and younger—is the next evolution of the former Young and Free® South Carolina initiative. The awareness campaign focuses on in-class sessions, community philanthropic work, and fun networking events to reach that demographic.

The program aims to make finances approachable by providing clarity and comfort with basic savings, credit, and money management techniques. South Carolina Federal officially launched smpl. with a kickoff party at a local entertainment center, attracting 150 young adults, says Meredith Siemens, vice president of corporate communications for the $1.3 billion asset credit union.

The name of the program is a nod to hashtags and the digital culture, she says, which translate well to this demographic. “Our parent brand tagline is Life Simplified™. We work to make financial services as easy as possible— especially for a group that tends to have Friday night more top of mind than finances,” she says.

Next up for smpl. is more active outreach to young adults via internal staff liaisons and a “street team” of student interns from local colleges who’ll attend local events.

“We focus on philanthropic, charitable events because this demowgraphic likes to feel community-connected,” Siemens says.

“They want to see a purpose in what they’re doing, and that falls hand-in-hand with the credit union model,” she continues. “When you show ‘people helping people’ without having to explain it, they get the correlation.”

Her advice for reaching young adults: “Recognize and respect them as individuals and tailor your offerings to their needs. That involves less direct advertising of what you offer and more asking them what they need.”