Credit Union Awareness conducted consumer consideration research and gathered consumer insights to uncover those lessons learned.
Our goal was to determine the consumer mindset and landscape coming through the pandemic and into 2021. The research places an emphasis on millennials, as that is our target demographic.
Some key findings from our most recent round of research:
Safety and security are more important to consumers than ever. Google Trends search data shows that breakout search topics related to “credit unions” feature questions about safety, including “are credit unions safer than banks?” and “are credit unions FDIC-insured?”
Lesson learned: Credit unions need to elevate consumers’ awareness that their funds are insured.
Digital first remains a priority. A perception gap still exists, as millennials view credit unions as friendly but not tech-savvy.
Credit unions should underscore digital savviness as potential members struggle to determine credit union eligibility online and prioritize online applications.
Credit unions are most highly rated in these areas:
Consumer consideration for credit unions—the campaign’s goal—grew from 13% in 2019 to 19% in Q2 2021. States with the biggest increases in consumer consideration from 2020 to 2021:
Average membership increases for campaign contributors is 5.5%. The top five states for membership gains since launch are Indiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Idaho, and Minnesota.
The Credit Union Awareness initiative launched in January 2019 in one state (Minnesota) and as of Q2 2021, has launched in 26 states.
Credit union ad recall increased from 25% in 2018 to 34% in Q2 2021. States with the greatest increase in ad recall from 2020 to Q2 2021 are Wisconsin (5%) and Kansas (3%).
Credit unions continue to get the highest ratings from members in these areas: A credit union is more likely than a bank to treat you as an individual, money deposited at a credit union is federally insured, and credit unions are suited for people like me.
Most nonmembers in the survey either don’t know or disagree with the same statements above.
In states where the campaign is launched, contributors on average gained nearly 1% more members than non-contributors in the same state.
Our digital-first strategy efficiently delivers ads that align best with the persona or life stage of the consumer on the other side of the screen. Our research helps to inform our messaging, creative, and positioning so we can continue to effectively market to our target audience—meeting consumers when and where they are.
The effectiveness of Credit Union Awareness depends on credit unions activating the campaign locally. Digital advertising captures and informs consumers about credit unions, but the credit unions bring the brand to actualization in their local markets.
It’s crucial for credit union contributors to activate the campaign and tie the participation to goals and objectives the credit union plans to measure.
Visit CUNA’s Credit Union Awareness page for information about Credit Union Awareness.
CHRISTOPHER LORENCE is executive director of Credit Union Awareness. Contact him at 202-626-7631 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.