Susan Mitchell and Brandi Stankovic discussed in their session I AM a Credit Union: Consumer Storytelling = Grassroots Growth how to build member connections within the community and exploit the power of outreach by taking ownership, literally, of the credit union. This was during the 2012 COOP THiNK Conference in Boca Raton, Florida. 
Consumers have transformed into producers. Just look at Twitter, Instagram or other tools that allow people to be creative and produce content. New applications and platforms are emerging that are less about conversation and more about collaboration. Pinterest and Facebook come to mind. Meaning, people have different expectations from credit unions when it comes to marketing. Credit Unions have to combine best practices with innovation in the spirit of Steve Jobs: “It’s really not possible to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

While it’s important to activate your audience, you need to do it on their terms: customized, personable. You need to listen to members and prospective customers. Or, you’ll suffer the consequences. Just ask United.Don’t make the story too complicated, keep it simple, get to the point and say it over and over and over again. Be succinct. Empower people.Just like Dr. Pepper’s taps into the power of individuality. 

And Credit Unions are about members. Because I AM a Credit Union. This grassroots campaign shows that once you give people a platform and shared purpose to rally around, they will get involved. We have an abundance of stories to tell. Give people the opportunity to share their story with the world and they will spread the word for you.

I AM a Credit Union. Are you?