Did you know Weird Al Yankovic wrote a credit union mission statement?

“A near-perfect historical record of business bullshittery.” That’s what Charlie Warzel wrote in an article in The Atlantic last year, describing a corporate document written by a Global Innovation Evangelist at consulting firm McKinsey & Company that was designed to share the “next big experiences in the Metaverse.”

Warzel breaks down the article, trying to find the “value” that the proclaimed next big experiences in the Metaverse will bring, but there was no defined value. Only hype. That hype was described as “business-dude lorem ipsum,” or filler language that is used to roleplay ‘thought leadership’ among those who have nothing to say: the MBA version of a grade-school book report that starts with a Webster’s Dictionary definition. Warzel had this to say: “Advanced business-dude lorem ipsum will convey action (‘We need to design value in stages’) but only in the least tangible way possible. It will employ industry terms of art (‘We’re first-to-market or a fast follower’) that indicate the business dude has been in many meetings where similar ideas were hatched. Business-dude lorem ipsum will often hold one or two platitudes that sound like they might also be Zen koans (‘value is in the eye of the beholder’) but actually are so broad that they say nothing at all.”

I started reflecting on the loads of business-dude lorem ipsum I see in credit union marketing and, worse, credit union mission statements.

“We have good rates and good service.”

“We exist to be the main provider of financial services for those who live, work, worship or attend school in….”

In fact, in 2014 Weird Al Yankovic launched a new song in a Crosby, Stills & Nash’s folk anthem style somewhat similar to “Carry On” and “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” that didn’t specifically call out credit unions, but it did, kind of. It was called “Mission Statement.”

“We must all efficiently operationalize our strategies, invest in world-class technology and leverage our core competencies in order to holistically administrate exceptional synergy. We’ll set a brand trajectory using management philosophy, advance our market share vis-à-vis our proven methodology, with strong commitment to quality, effectively enhancing corporate synergy. Transitioning our company by awareness of functionality, promoting viability, providing our supply chain with diversity, we will distill our identity through client-centric solutions … and synergy.”

How many of those words are in your credit union’s mission statement? OUCH! Be truthful, I know there are at least a few!

Several years ago, Columbine Federal Credit Union took a bold stand and ditched their corporate speak in refining their mission statement. “We listen to your personal story and provide the tools and education you need to reach your dreams and succeed. When others don’t, we give a damn.” Columbine FCU left the business-dude lorem ipsum in the dust and put the business bullshittery out to pasture.

Your mission statement doesn’t need to be quite as bold (but why not?). It should portray real meaning.


Contact the author: Your Marketing Co

Contact the author: Your Marketing Co

Bo McDonald

Bo McDonald

Bo McDonald is president of Your Marketing Co. A marketing firm that started serving credit unions nearly a decade ago, offering a wide range of services including web design, branding, ... Web: yourmarketing.co Details