unique enough that new members start looking for you, drawn by your singular, magical amazing-ness

It’s hard to read the label from inside the jar.

It’s obvious you’re different. You have the best staff, the best products, the best rates, and no one else is so completely devoted to their members. Absolutely no one can compare to you, and, frankly, you should have members willing to pay extra just to get in.

Of course, you’re on the inside, looking out.

When everyone else reads your label, they will likely place you on the shelf with the 14,000 other banks and credit unions across the US. And they certainly aren’t about to pay a premium for a difference they can’t see.

So how do you stand out?

How do you make your CU unique enough that new members start looking for you, drawn by your singular, magical amazing-ness?

Step out of your jar.

The only way to truly see what you look like, is to get out from behind and take a good hard look through the other side of the glass. Bring others with you. Note everything, good and bad, warts and all. Add an outside expert to your team to see what you missed.

Put on your lab coats and start your research.

Ask your members for their opinions. Have your team take notes and then compare. You will likely be surprised how different people pick up different things. Be sure to ask the entire staff for their opinions — make that anonymous by using outside help and you will likely uncover even more insights.

Now look at all the jars next to you on the shelf.

You don’t want to look just like them, you want to stand out as the preferred brand. What do they do well and where do they fall short? What does the data tell you about where you excel? What makes you different? How can you stand out from the competition?

Put on your geek glasses.

It takes some healthy data-crunching and testing to make results add up, so roll up your sleeves, gather all your research, and become one with your inner Numbers Nerd.

Turn yourself into a product.

When you market yourself as a service, you become as exciting as a utility bill. Yet people love buying their favorite brands. Build a strategy based on what is different about you, then package it to sell. Packaging is important when you are trying to catch someone’s eye.

Now, launch like a startup.

Brands don’t have to be new to be noticed, but they do need to market as if they are. Make it fun. Make it exciting. Make it look good.

Pretty soon, your jars will be flying off the shelves.

Kent Dicken

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