Why your credit union website design should focus on your strengths

What are you the best in the world at?

Successful brands are built on specialization. Specialization is one of the key insights of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, which gave birth to modern economics and the modern world. There is not a successful brand alive that is truly trying to sell everything to every person. When you put together your credit union website design, consider what makes your credit union special.

Successful brands have strengths and weaknesses that set them apart from other brands. For example, MacBooks are high-quality (strength) and expensive (weakness). On the other hand, most PCs are more customizable (strength), less expensive (strength), and lower quality (weakness).

If you want to design a killer credit union website, then focus on your strengths. In order for visitors to join your credit union and apply for loans, they need to choose you above their other options. They will choose you only if you can prove you are uniquely suited to meet their needs and desires better than anyone else.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to determine your strengths. We’ll then give examples of successful credit union websites that illustrate how showing off your strengths can dramatically improve your design.


How to determine your strengths

Here are the three key questions to ask yourself before you ever start a credit union website design:

  1. What is your credit union the best in the world at?

What does your credit union offer, specifically, that no one else offers? What does it do extraordinarily well? In a world rife with options, you can’t offer just low rates or point out that you’re not-for-profit. Sure those are important things, but go deeper. Consider how you serve your members in a way that no one else can. Determine what niche you fill in your community.

For example, Navy Federal Credit Union is known for catering only to military service members. Alongside, that, they offer a number of exclusive services aimed at members of the armed forces, such as special checking accounts for those in active duty, and savings plans to help supplement traditional military retirement plans.

  1. How do members benefit from you being the best in the world at that thing?

Of course, it’s not enough to just be the best in the world at something. Your credit union could have the best employee softball team in the nation, but how does that help your members? Consider which strengths you have that specifically respond to essential human needs. Does your credit union help members feel like a part of a privileged group? Make it easier for them to shelter and clothe their families?

Remember, people don’t buy products, they buy benefits.

  1. Why would someone choose your credit union over other financial institutions?

Make sure you know what sets you apart from your competitors. This includes the big banks of course, but may also include your local friendly rivals. You can do this using a comparison table or another types of side-by-side comparison that gets straight to the point.

A comparison table from Redwood Credit Union

Asking these three questions will force you to think about your brand. Maybe your credit union is uniquely positioned to serve the healthcare industry. Maybe you have special programs in place that help young people and first-time borrowers.

Whatever the answer to these questions, you should use your credit union website design to backup these answers with testimonials, examples, stats, and stories. Studies have shown that testimonials and stories have a direct impact on the conversions on your website.

The visual elements of your website should also show off your strengths. You want to choose imagery that emphasizes who you are and what you stand for. That means you need more than just pictures of credit cards and piggy banks. If you serve the San Diego area, have real images from San Diego. If your primary membership base is a very Christian community, don’t be afraid to show a church or two. When you pick authentic images that resonate with your audience, they will be much more likely to linger on your website.


Case Study #1 OE Federal

OE Federal’s site highlights union workers

Strength: OE Federal is 100% union and proud of it. All of their members are union workers and they offer special products and services to union workers.

Support: On their website (oefcu.org) , you’ll find the union theme running through every page. The imagery,color scheme and design elements reflect a blue-collar vibe.

The site also backs up their claims with facts. Right on the homepage you’ll find info on the unique benefits OE Federal offers union workers, such as the ability to pause payments during a strike, and their initiative to donate money to union-backed charities.

Case Study #2 Acadia FCU

Acadia’s site emphasizes their caring nature

Strength: Acadia FCU’s greatest strength is its caring staff. They genuinely want to help their members and that’s why people love the credit union. Their website highlights their caring culture.

Support: Acadia’s website (acadiafcu.org) features many testimonials about how Acadia’s employees have helped the members, such as on their Business Star Checking page.

The site also has a lengthy staff page, with pictures of every single person who works for the credit union. The homepage is full of images and anecdotes featuring Acadia’s staff helping members, or participating in community volunteer efforts.

Case Study #3 HFS FCU

HFS’s site shows how they help members find success

Strength: HFS FCU believes the success of their credit union is measured by the success stories they create for members.

Support: Right at the top of the homepage there is a testimonial from a customer that states HFS helped him find business success, alongside an image of him standing proudly in the middle of his salon. Additionally, many product pages throughout the site also contain testimonials from members who have found success in personal and business finances—with HFS’s guidance and support.

The key to success is to focus on your strengths because no one can be good at everything. Your credit union website design can show visitors who you are and what makes you special, and attract more members who will be satisfied with the unique benefits you give them.

Derik Krauss

Derik Krauss

Derik is a cofounder of BloomCU, an award-winning website design agency for credit unions. His agency's design work has received recognition from CUNA (Diamond Award), TheFinancialBrand.com, and others. He ... Web: bloomCU.com Details