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When is a refrigerator more than a mere appliance?
When it becomes a portal to the unknown that creates a transformational encounter for those who experience it.
Such are the issues Vince Kadlubek considers as co-founder of Meow Wolf, an arts and entertainment company that creates “immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration.”
Kadlubek addressed the 2023 CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference Sunday in Orlando.
One of Meow Wolf’s installations is a refrigerator through which people pass to a wide-ranging and eclectic art collection.
“We put people in a normal house, and when they realize the refrigerator is a pathway to the unknown, something special happens,” he says. “The refrigerator gives people permission to be more than what they thought they could be.”
It’s a transformational moment, Kadlubek says, which ties into a current trend: the transformation economy, where people seek life-changing experiences.
The economy has evolved from goods to services to experiences to transformation, he says. This is what Meow Wolf provides to some.
“The goal of the transformation economy is to understand who you are at the ‘why’ level, and expand it to other areas,” Kadlubeck says. “Creativity, art, and the imagination are for everyone. It’s inside all of us; we all want to experience it.”
Credit unions can tap into the transformation economy by focusing on how they make members’ dreams come true.
“Money aside, what’s the real branding purpose of your credit union?” he asks. “Money aside, what inspires us? It’s through financial institutions that dreams come through. Let’s talk about how we make members’ dreams come true.
“Tell the stories of your members, and have members tell their stories in a direct and authentic way,” Kadlubek continues. “It’s all about letting their authenticity show through.”