Consumer consideration: The most valuable step towards credit union market share growth

Believe it or not, it’s been nearly three years since the launch of the most robust and ambitious credit union movement initiative: To increase consumer consideration for credit unions.

Since its launch, credit unions have worked together to fund the program in their individual states, gaining momentum and launching coast to coast. The AI powered, paid digital program has delivered over 3 billion impressions and 1 billion consumer video views elevating the credit union difference. 

So why is Credit Union Awareness focused specifically on increasing consumer consideration and not perhaps, delivering a direct response type program?  

Because credit unions, for decades, have been great at lead generation programs for specific products, services and membership. However, enticing consumers with competitive interest rates and a wide selection of products is only part of the battle.  

Foundational research conducted by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) revealed that a significant portion of the population in the US has deeply held myths about credit unions.  

Consumers don’t think they are eligible to join a credit union and even more problematic, they perceive the experience would only be available to them locally.  

In order to reach the 56% of Americans who are not members of a credit union, we must first educate them that there is a credit union for everyone, and members have global access to their money through many of the same ATM networks and technology solutions that traditional banks have.

This is where Credit Union Awareness creates an opportunity for change by opening consumers’ eyes to America’s best kept secret – credit unions. By increasing consumers consideration for credit unions, over time, an individual credit union’s marketing efforts will go even farther. 

And there’s great news to report on the progress being made towards the program’s objectives! 

More consumers than ever are aware of credit unions! Ad recall for credit unions has jumped almost 10 points from baseline measurement in 2019 to Q2 2021.  Consumer consideration for credit unions nationwide has increased by 8 points from the baseline of 14% in 2019 to 22% in Q2 2021. 

And because of that, more consumers are considering credit unions for checking, savings and loans.

We can’t stop now.  Let’s build on this momentum into the future. 

Through continuous optimization, the Credit Union Awareness paid digital program serves ads to individual consumers at the right time, the right place and with the right message that resonates the most with each individual consumer. Running 24/7/365, the program is reaching consumers that traditional credit union advertising is not.  Consumer engagement metrics and brand lift studies continue to ensure that the highest performing content and messages are delivered to the ideal audiences.

While the program has delivered nearly 9 million consumer visits to, we must continue to expand the program to more states and with more credit unions so that consumers have the widest choice in credit unions.

We will continue measuring program impact through quarterly media results, bi-annual consideration research, brand lift studies and consumer insights – all designed to inform program strategy and your local credit union marketing.

The future of credit unions is incredibly bright. While market share has stalled at 7.5% for the last 3 decades, the powerful impact of the targeted, myth busting digital program has begun to open consumers’ eyes to credit unions. To change decades of market share stagnation, our entire industry needs to do even more, together.  

Whether community or SEG based, each credit union has a part to play. To create change, we need to be consistent in our efforts and collaborative in our approach while contributing financially to this long-term initiative. Credit union participation locally and financially is what will continue to drive a larger market share opportunity.

Together, we must be dedicated to consistent digital brand engagement, along with meaningful digital transformation to attract more consumers to our movement and industry.

Chris Lorence

Chris Lorence

Chris Lorence is the Executive Director of Credit Union Awareness, LLC. Details

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