Ideally, your credit union’s in-person and virtual experiences complement and reinforce each other; they’re different sides of the same brand.
“Meatspace” (or should we call it “meetspace”?) connections cement a brand in a member’s mind, and create important lifelong connections in ways that “screenspace” can’t.
We build a lot of websites for credit unions, but we always keep in mind that that real, live person-to-person experiences also play an important role in a credit union’s brand.
Here are five reasons you still need a lot of “meetspace” in your brand.
The real world is how real people form real lasting connections
Sure, everything’s online and everything’s virtual and mobile now. But we humans are still the same fundamentally social creatures who huddled in caves and harnessed fire not that long ago. Real, in-person connections are still vitally important. And it’s not just friendly staff – it’s branch environments, community events, shared space and shared values.
Credit unions are locally grown
One of the greatest advantages credit unions have is that they’re authentically local. They’re part of the community in a way that a bank branch with its HQ on the other side of the country can’t be. In everything from the product mix to local humor, events, helping solve local problems, and even through design and architecture, CUs can echo their deep connection to their communities and values.
Beyond the transaction
Whether you’re organizing a dinner cruise, putting on a seminar for first-time home buyers, or sponsoring a kid’s day at the park, it’s important to make connections to members that go beyond the nuts and bolts of transactions and rates. If your bouncy castle helps a busy young parent rest for a few minutes while her kids have fun, you have much better odds of landing her mortgage later on.
Natural visual connections and content
We’ve all heard that online video and visual content is king. And that’s tough for credit unions – loans, mortgages, transactions, and rates are all pretty abstract. But if you’re in regular contact with actual members in a variety of situations, there are more opportunities to connect screenspace and meetspace with interesting, sharable video and photos.
Clearer two-way communication
If you were an alien and all you had to work with was content on the internet, what would you think of humanity? Screenspace distorts things a bit; you need to talk to some actual humans in person to get beyond cat pictures and Facebook trolls. Same for any issue or decision – surveys, analytics, forums, rating, and reviews are nice, but if you need to know what humans really think, you have to mix in some real, in-person conversations.