CUNA’s Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union® initiative is designed to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to raise consumer consideration of credit unions, Chair of CUNA’s Awareness Advisory Group Teresa Freeborn wrote in Credit Union Times this week. Freeborn, who is also the president/CEO of Xceed Financial CU, El Segundo, Calif., said dispelling credit union myths is a vital part of the initiative.
“It’s not that consumers haven’t heard of us – in fact 98% of consumers have – it’s that one-third don’t know enough about us to consider choosing our products and services,” she wrote. “This is our consideration challenge, something we need to take on to make sure credit unions have a bright future.”
The initiative is the first iteration of the larger effort to increase consideration of credit unions among American consumers, and it grew from several industry needs.
“Credit unions have held steady around 7% of market share for the last two decades. In that time, community banks have been swallowed up by big banks, and big banks have merged into mega banks,” she wrote. “It’s a trend that leaves credit unions extremely vulnerable if we don’t proactively connect with consumers to share why we’re different – and better – than traditional banks.”
Freeborn also sets the record straight on two big misunderstandings:
“The bottom line is this is not just another marketing plan. It’s an industry-wide, national effort to increase our share of the marketplace pie,” she wrote. “The reality is that Awareness isn’t just another advertising campaign. It’s something that credit unions have never attempted, and its potential is enormous if we all work together on it.”