why is it so hard for you to get our attention?

CUs would seem to be in a perfect position to attract Millennials. The foundational concept of people helping people. Banding together to create something where everyone benefits. No shareholders to satisfy, with their just-give-me-that-dividend mindset.

CUs literally exist to help their members and their communities. Which is something Millennials can appreciate.

So why is it so hard for you to get our attention?

Yes, I understand that Millennials have been making life difficult for marketing departments for more than a decade. And yes, there are likely thousands of articles out there that explain how millennials are different from past generations. Heck, we’ve written about how to reach a younger audience and deal with their challenges several times as well.

And yet, a lot of marketing departments still seem to have this problem. 

Because we don’t care. 

We don’t care because the world is on fire. The news seems to endlessly cycle with death, disease, and corruption. We’ve been told that only 100 corporations are responsible for the vast majority of global warming, yet our politicians bicker and accept money from lobbyists representing these same giant corporations.

We were excited to be told at a young age that we would have the power to save the world. But no one told us that the entire world would need saving all at once.

We don’t care because we’re still playing catch-up. Millennials aren’t buying cars and houses or having children in their 30s as a lifestyle choice. A lot of us truly don’t see how to get started.

We have massive student loan debt. A lot of millennials work at jobs where they are probably underpaid. All while hoping that we manage to stay healthy without health insurance we can afford.

We don’t care because there’s too much to care about. To top it all off, we’ve all got emotional fatigue. Every time we turn around we’re fighting for a cause or donating what little we have. We’re exhausted from caring.

And we don’t care about the same things you seem to care about. We don’t care about your rates. We don’t care if you have a billion dollars in assets. In fact, telling us how much money you have might even send us away. Millennials won’t magically understand that having more assets give you more ability to help more members. All we see is another business touting its wealth.

But we still want to care.

We don’t believe that all companies are evil. Millennials love places like REI, Penzeys Spices, and other B corporations that show us that there’s such a thing as Conscious Capitalism. We love companies that don’t exploit their workers, that give back to the communities, that support global causes.

Stop waiting for me to care, and make me care.

Stop telling your sales associates to smile more. Don’t put it on your lowest-paid workers to give us the best experience.

Instead, go the extra mile for me. Offer me something no one else has. Take a stand. Share what’s important to you. 

Take action. Take a risk. Use your assets and your resources, and try to make the world a better place for all of us.

Don’t wait for me to fall in love with your brand. You have the power to make me a lifelong fan.

Make me into a fanatic for your brand, I dare you.

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This is part 1 of a 2 part series. Check out part 2 here!

Sam Dicken
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