are free services appreciated, or pretty much just expected?

Is Free just another word for Not Worth Paying For?

Credit unions have long championed giving certain services away for absolutely nothing: free checking, free bill pay, free ATM access, free shared branching, etc., etc. But are free services appreciated, or pretty much just expected? As designers and marketers, we get hit up all the time for free work. This charity needs a logo and this non-profit…

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Market who you are, not what you'd like to be.

If you work in advertising, are you “being paid to lie”?

I believe in honesty. Not just in my personal life, but in business too. Of course that might be difficult to believe since I work in advertising/marketing. After all, it’s a business I’ve heard described as “being paid to lie.” And trust me, we’ve had clients who’ve wanted us to do just that. Mostly though,…

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What will you always do, no matter what?

Mission Statements are boring. What’s your Manifesto?

When we start on a branding project, one of the first things we usually see is the credit union’s “Mission Statement”. About 99.999% of the time, a committee has very carefully stripped it of any concrete meaning or use and it says the exact same things as every other mission statement. What I’m more interested…

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When does it cross over from simply sharing to gaining from someone's expertise?

On ditching RFPs, picking brains, and drawing lines.

Is it really okay to pick someone’s brain? I recently met up with a friend who works at a local credit union to get his take on all the changes that CUs have experienced over the last few years. He listened to what I had to say, agreed with some of my observations, and challenged…

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it's a very different way of doing business, but credit unions are very different

Maybe transparency is worth a try

You have to wonder — what would happen if you were completely transparent, if you told your members the 100% unadulterated truth for once, and let them draw their own conclusions? Just imagine the following, delivered by a gruff but lovable no-nonsense sort of CEO, like Colonel Potter from MASH: “My fellow credit union members…”…

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do you really have to remind people that you're not responsible for the entire internet?

Big scary lawyer warning

Be honest — how many of you have web sites that show a Big Scary Lawyer Warning (BSLW) like this when a member clicks a link to another site? OH NOES! You are leaving the ABCFCU web site! ABFCU has no control over and is not responsible for the content or privacy practices of other…

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Don't you know you're missing out on big fat profits?

Dear Credit Unions…

Dear Credit Unions, We have to admit, sometimes we don’t know what to make of you. Especially when you look like a bundle of chumps who haven’t been playing the suckers nearly hard enough. Don’t you know you’re missing out on big fat profits? For example: your CU’s Platinum card probably has a perfectly sane rate…

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Credit unions have a history of "sticking up for the little guy"

Were the Pilgrims Illegal Immigrants?

  I’ll admit that I had no idea that, until recently, an illegal immigrant could get a taxpayer identification number (but not a social security number), pay taxes, open accounts, and even get a mortgage. And as it turned out, these mortgages performed quite well in financial terms, thanks to conservative lending criteria, fixed rates,…

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Each new member is cause for celebration, and it's important to let them know that.

The Care and Feeding of New Members

The first few months are the perfect time to solidify your CU’s relationship with new members. Of course, it’s important to increase their number of account relationships and all that, but what can marketers do to really get new members excited about the credit union, and maybe even turn them into credit union evangelists? After…

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