Matt McCombs has no problem experimenting.
The evidence is clear to those walking through the doors of Vibrant Coffeehouse and Kitchen in Moline, Ill. The coffee shop, which opened in late 2022, sits next to the headquarters of $1 billion asset Vibrant Credit Union, where McCombs serves as president/CEO.
It roasts its own coffee and offers breakfast, sandwiches, soups, salads, ice cream, and more, while also serving as a branding and growth platform for the credit union. McCombs joins this episode of the CUNA News Podcast to discuss the unique arm of the business, the importance of engagement, how to turn ideas into action, and his leadership philosophies.
“If you take the name, brand, and colors off, is anyone going to tell the difference between you and most other financial institutions?” he asks, noting the coffee shop translates to about 10 new Vibrant Credit Union accounts per week. “How do we build relationships directly with consumers? Not with something they have to have, but with something they choose to have. How do we create a brand that gives you the opportunity to be successful, and then reinforces that opportunity over time?”
In this episode:
0:23: Episode introduction
1:25: Intro to Matt McCombs
5:00: The history of Vibrant Credit Union
9:30: Streamlining Vibrant Credit Union’s business model
12:35: Vibrant Coffeehouse and Kitchen
17:24: Community loyalty
18:15: Personalized financial offerings
19:20: Turning coffee consumers into credit union members
22:30: Creating a brand
27:40: Finding your credit union’s niche
29:52: Turning ideas into action
30:35: The changing credit union business model
34:25: Encouraging community interaction