Chris Lorence

PODCAST: Raising consideration of credit unions

Research-based Awareness Initiative makes credit unions a clear choice for consumers.

January 16, 2020

As a credit union branch manager in the 1990s, Chris Lorence found it frustrating how many members would have payroll deduction through the institution but keep their primary financial relationship elsewhere.

They simply didn’t consider the credit union for most loans, investments, and other services.

The same issue remains widespread today, he says. “As long as I’ve been in financial services, there has been the perception that credit unions weren’t for everyone. Consumers who aren’t members hear ‘credit union’ and think ‘car loan’ or ‘I could join one where I used to work.’”

He’s working to change that perception as CUNA’s chief credit union awareness officer. Since June 2019, Lorence has led CUNA’s Awareness Initiative, Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union®, a digital-first marketing campaign that’s raising consumer consideration of credit unions.

In this episode of the CUNA News Podcast, Lorence shares highlights from the initiative’s first year, how research shapes the effort, challenges in raising consumers’ consideration of credit unions, next steps, and more.

Watch for a feature in the Spring 2020 issue of Credit Union Magazine about the Awareness Initiative.

You can listen and subscribe to the CUNA News Podcast in Apple’s iTunes Store, Spotify, Google Play, and Stitcher Radio.

In this episode:

1:28: Lorence’s return to the credit union movement

2:23: What drew Lorence to Open Your Eyes to a Credit Union

3:32: How research has shaped the campaign

5:07: Target markets

7:10: Common questions

9:36: Surprises from the campaign launch

11:00: Challenges in rolling out the campaign

13:26: “Think about a duck:” Action behind the scenes

16:04: Priorities going forward

17:54: Concerns about the campaign

20:57: Lorence’s leadership style

22:08: At home on the farm