MARLBOROUGH, Mass (12/11/15)--In the three months since the Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) launched “Better Values. Better Banking.” it has created a buzz that can’t be duplicated through traditional media, said CCUA President/CEO Paul Gentile.
“I think being on the consumer level at common places that they visit daily and trying to help them there with advice or a gift card puts a real-world face on what credit unions represent,” Gentile told News Now about the consumer awareness campaign.
Credit union representatives are visiting retail venues throughout New England, paying for consumer items, handing out gift cards, and asking consumers to “pay it forward” if they know someone that could use a hand up. The group has paid for coffee, gas, car washes, bagels, restaurant tabs, and will even skate with Santa next week.
The "In Your Neighborhood" visits also give credit union representatives an opportunity to help consumers find a credit union they can join.
"We realize that you need great rates and low fees, but we do think our value proposition as not-for-profit cooperatives gives us a leg up on the competition,” Gentile added. “We are finding that at these events, especially among younger consumers. When they hear our structure, they take notice. Believe it or not, the structure of credit unions is ‘cool’ with young people.”
The message also is being spread through larger community events. The Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., hosted a Better Values. Better Banking. event Dec. 5 during a Providence Bruins hockey game. On hand were Donna Bevilacqua, CCUA director of communications and community relations, and David Dupere, executive vice president/chief operating officer, WAVE FCU, Warwick, R.I., who distributed canvas grocery bags with the campaign message (Daily CU Scan Dec. 7).
Credit unions of Rhode Island were displayed on the arena's Jumbotron throughout the game, including Gentile and Dupere's presentation of a donation to Special Olympics Rhode Island CEO Dennis DeJesus and his assistant, Special Olympics athlete Michael Lucca.