Four years ago, I was forced to attend a one-hour workshop at my high school. The teacher walked in and started droning on: “Today, we’ll learn about budgeting, saving, and investing…”
Most of my friends dozed off or started talking to each other—some played on their phones under the table.
At the end, I was handed a flyer that said something like, “Open an account and get $20.” I don’t remember the name of the bank that provided the lesson, and I’m pretty sure I saw students using the flyers to build paper airplanes.
Needless to say, I didn’t walk out of that class interested in the world of finance.
Every year, credit unions invest millions of dollars sponsoring financial education in the classroom to build building brand awareness among younger generations. But are these efforts effective?
The way that financial concepts (401ks, IRAs, etc.) are being delivered is boring for young adults. Sitting in a classroom and paying attention to a lecture for hours is practically impossible. I know this because I was one of those students just a few years ago.
Credit unions want to connect with Generation Z (those born after 1996) and attract their next generation of members. But are they connecting with young adults in relevant and engaging ways?
While at Duke University, a couple of friends and I decided to tackle this problem with one of our university’s world-renowned behavioral scientists. The solution we found to engage with Gen Z: gamification.
Here’s why this approach should be a critical consideration for credit unions and their Gen Z members:
At Zogo, for example, we built our app so users earn points (in the form of pineapples) as they complete lessons. They can redeem those pineapples for rewards such as gift cards and deposits from a financial institution that sponsors their experience.
The oldest Gen Zers are approaching their mid-twenties this year. Gen Z will be an increasingly critical part of credit unions’ members base in the years to come, and credit unions must consider this generation in their marketing strategies.
Here are three ways to incorporate gamification principles and Gen Z preferences into your strategy:
By connecting with young adults today, credit unions can build the next generation of members and ensure success for years to come—or they can risk aging along with their oldest members.
BOLUN LI is CEO and co-founder of Zogo, a CUNA Strategic Services alliance provider.