As any motorcyclist knows, the best roads and scenery are far away from population centers. In fact, I’ve become a connoisseur of the inexpensive, “independent” lodgings you’ll find hours from the nearest Holiday Inn. There’s a certain quirky charm in the nonstandard, family-owned places, and I always seem to sleep better when my bike is right outside my door rather than at the other end of a half mile of hallway.
Many of these old motels still sport a weathered but enthusiastic “COLOR TV!” sign out front. This always makes me snicker a bit — color TV is not much of a differentiator these days. Hand lettered “FREE WIFI!” signs are starting to pop up, but I suspect these will be just as outdated one day.
In other words, “COLOR TV!” is just an expected basic service these days, not an extra. In the USA, guests can safely assume there will be a color TV inside each motel room, along with indoor plumbing, one or more clean beds, a phone, an assortment of tiny towels, and a wee bottle of shampoo. These things are not benefits — they’re just the bare minimum to be in the motel business.
In the credit union world, the same principle applies.
For example, internet home banking or debit cards are just bare minimum expectations — everyone has them, everyone expects them, and offering these services doesn’t make you at all special. Same thing for being “trustworthy”, “friendly”, or having “low, low rates.”
These are just the minimum qualities needed to be in business.
Are you a more like a charming bed and breakfast, a cozy scenic getaway, or a delightfully corny slice of hometown Americana? What are you doing that IS different and FEELS different?
That’s the story to tell.