Vegas is an entire city built around the power of branding.

What happened in Vegas

Last week, I attended the 2015 MAC Conference in Las Vegas. As always, it was an incredible experience, as you would expect from gathering the best and brightest of the CU marketing field under one roof.

The highlight, of course, was collecting two MAC Awards for logos we designed for Park View Federal Credit Union in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Harvester Financial Credit Union in Indianapolis. Many thanks to these clients for the trust and inspiration. (Next year, we need to enter your new web sites!)

A few other random MAC thoughts:

  • We do marketing and branding and build web sites for credit unions across the country, and much of the time we never meet our clients face-to-face. It’s always fun and interesting to meet some of the people I’ve only known through email or as a voice on the phone.
  • I learned a few things that surprised me — did you know that millennials and Generation Z place a higher value on safety and security than excitement? Unusual for young people, but when you consider the state of the economy as they came of age, it makes sense.
  • I also learned that women and men tend to have different decision-making preferences — women prefer to have all the options laid out, and men prefer to pick from a small number of distinct options (usually three). We already know that women make most financial decisions… hmmm.
  • I also re-learned several things I already knew. For example, once millennials and Gen Z people understand what a credit union is, they’re 100% on board — CUs fit right in with their collaborative, cooperative, inclusive ethos. They get the concept instantly, but many have simply not heard of CUs yet. There’s still a lot of educational work to do.
  • Just about everybody’s on Facebook. Among younger people, Twitter is fading and Snapchat is rising.
  • Like I and many others have been saying for years, marketers MUST get involved in every area of the credit union. Get out there and get nosy! Everything from employee compensation to ALM policy affects your brand, so it’s your baby.
  • I got the chance to meet several other vendors as well, many of whom we’ve worked with before, mostly in the course of building web sites. There’s some amazing innovation out there in CU-land, and interoperability is the name of the game. Got an idea for a fantabulous new mash-up? Conference us in!
  • I’ve been in some mighty big hotels and conference centers, but the Aria is on a whole new level of vast.
  • Las Vegas is an entire city built around the power of brands. From the glossy, aspirational perfection of the Aria to the colorful wonder of the Bellagio to the more relaxed mass market amusement park feel of Circus Circus, each property strives to be different and distinct above all else. It’s very interesting to see how they do this with architecture, color, lighting, sound, signs, service, personnel, clothing, and even scent and temperature.
  • When you look around the room at a MAC conference, you realize “Dang! This is one good-looking group of people.”
Brian Wringer

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