is it time to panic yet?

It’s a Tech Takeover! Everybody panic!

Google is doing checking accounts! Apple has a credit card! Walmart has both! It’s a Tech Takeover!! (Cue EVERYBODY-PANIC.gif) Everyone has been predicting a tech/retail giant takeover of personal banking, specifically checking or “transaction” accounts, for a while, but… is it really time to panic? Or can we panic later? What’s the right level of…

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Your brand may be better defined by what you aren't

Negative space isn’t just for logos.

Artists have used negative space in compositions for eons, and graphic designers have made good use of the technique in logo design. But negative space isn’t just for logos; it may be an even better way to define your brand. Okay, you might not have followed that if you aren’t a graphic designer, so let…

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It's too easy to believe that everyone knows who you are.

Most of the world has no idea who you are.

Credit unions, I hate to be the one to break this to you, but most of the world has no idea who you are. That may be a surprise to you since you live in the CUniverse. When immersed in the credit union culture, when you deal with the same coworkers and members most of the time, it’s too easy to…

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Which sounds more like your credit union?

Are you an Amazonian or a Walmartian?

It’s always interesting to compare credit unions to well-known “disruption” companies to see if there’s anything we can learn from their examples. Walmart and Amazon have massively disrupted retail, along with entire industries and communities. Love them or hate them (or both), their effect on the world has been huge. In addition, they are direct competitors…

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Dogged persistence, pure luck, and multiple attempts

Stop making things so gosh-darn hard

Why were these tasks so onerous? Last night (and early this morning) I helped my wife activate a new cell phone. A couple of weeks ago, I finally signed up for BlueIndy, an electric car sharing service. Last year, we refinanced our mortgage to take advantage of a lower rate. I tried to order a pizza…

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we must have a high pain threshold

The pain isn’t enough to make the switch

About every week someone calls us “on behalf of AT&T” to try to give us a better deal. We just hang up on them. Why? Because it’s painful. They’re third party resellers, and their “deals” are almost as confusing as the those from AT&T. Why AT&T seems to be actively supporting them, I have no idea. …

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you simply can't offer everything to everyone and do it all well.

What if your credit union isn’t the best financial option?

I know that CUs are great, and for most people they offer a much better deal on almost anything financial-oriented. But for most credit unions, you simply can’t offer everything to everyone and do it all well. You may be able to go after more business accounts now, but you may not have a very…

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How many of us are making strategic decisions based on what the competition is doing?

Lemming let down

Never tell my mother I said this, but…I was a lucky kid. You see my father was the director of a state agency in South Dakota through the eighties and early nineties. When the State of South Dakota decided to upgrade their technological infrastructure, they allowed employees to purchase PCs on their bulk order. Because…

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how do you make your products and services fit your members so well that they would never leave? 

Your personalized banking isn’t very personal

Plenty of credit unions tout a personalized banking approach, but not many really pull it off. Most will offer a checklist of products from which to choose, but they are all standard variations on a theme. There really isn’t any customization, just a few choices of models. It’s a manufacturer’s mass production, mass market model.…

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gather your wits, sprout a spine, and point out a few things that your CFO/CEO may have overlooked

Why would anyone join a credit union they have never heard of?

To many credit union CFOs (and CEOs that used to be CFOs), Marketing is just overhead. They don’t understand it, they don’t value it, and it doesn’t connect in their minds with the personnel and facilities it takes to keep branches open. To them, cutting the marketing budget is a quick fix when you need…

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