Jim Nussle at ACUC 2016

Nussle: It’s about relevance

CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle encourages awareness efforts at ACUC.

June 27, 2016

Credit unions must increase their relevance or risk falling behind in the financial services marketplace, says Jim Nussle, CUNA president/CEO, at America’s Credit Union Conference (ACUC) in Seattle on Monday.

If credit unions can ramp up relevance with members and the general public, they can improve market share, gain greater share of wallet, and bolster advocacy efforts, he says.

Imagine the impact if all of credit unions’ more than 100 million members and other supporters came together as an advocacy choir, Nussle says: “Look out NRA, AARP.”

Nussle’s comments tee up a Tuesday presentation at ACUC about CUNA’s Credit Union Awareness Initiative.

To increase relevance, Nussle encourages credit unions to raise awareness of the movement.

“I want to start moving the needle on creating that awareness,” he says. “The No. 1 thing we’re learning is that talking about the credit union difference makes a difference.”

Raising awareness, Nussle says, requires simple, but powerful messaging that communicates why credit union are different. According to CUNA research, four messages best resonate with consumers and members. Credit unions:

  1. Are different from banks;
  2. Are not-for-profit, but for people:
  3. Are local and member-owned; and
  4. Return earnings to members through higher interest rates on savings, and lower and fewer fees.

The research finds that when people see advertisements with these four messages, large percentages retain a very positive perception of credit unions.

After exposure to the messages, more than 80% of bank customers say they’re interested in switching at least one account to a credit union, and nearly 70% of credit union members say they're interested in increasing their engagement and share of wallet with their credit union, the research finds.

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