Monday, March 23, 2009

Marketing financial products and services - It's a great time to be a Credit Union

I was watching TV last weekend and was struck by the number of advertisements that hold their products up as a better value - you should buy/do/act because of the overall money-saving value a product or service can offer you and your family.

There was one ad in particular in which a mom and her two children went to the grocery store to see if they could prepare a meal at home at the same cost they could buy it for at KFC. A few seconds into the commercial, they realize that it's a better deal to go to KFC for a low $9.99 meal that can feed the whole family.

With the current economic climate, it seems to me that it's a prime time for credit unions across the country to get out there - big and bold - with the message of value in the financial products and services they provide.

Here's a snap-shot of some recent CU press:

• Arianna Huffington appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" show recently to talk about the financial crisis, specifically related to news of American International Group's bonus package. The point she was making on the show was that the media isn't talking about the "good stuff" going on in the marketplace and the country at large.

"There's a lot of good stuff happening in this country - look at credit unions," Huffington said. "How many people know that credit unions are healthy, they keep lending money, and there have been no problems with them?

"Why not bolster what is good in our economy as opposed to continuing to subsidize what is not working?" she added.

• Suzy Ormond has talked on her website and in media interviews about the safety and value consumers can find at credit unions.

• Credit Union National Association President/CEO Dan Mica appeared on Fox Business Network to underscore the overall strength and safety of the credit union system and promote lifting the statutory member business lending cap as a way to help job-generating small businesses.

Interviewed live in the Rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building, Mica said he wants consumers to know that the natural person credit unions, "where you and I put our money," are safe and sound, with accounts federally insured to $250,000.

Are you leveraging this recent press to your benefit?

Credit unions have a history of safety and security - which is exactly what consumers and businesses are looking for in today's marketplace. If ever there was a time to tell the credit union story, it's right now. With the value and savings that credit unions bring to their members and communities, I firmly believe that the credit union philosophy of "People Helping People" has a role to play in our national economic recovery.

If you're a credit union, are you doing your part to educate your members and your communities about how the credit union can help?