How credit unions can connect with Gen Y women

Talk to most Gen Y women and you’ll find out they care about what they eat.   They look for organic food, farmers’ markets and locally grown produce.   “Farm to Table” is all the craze.   (For those who are not familiar with this phenomenon, it is a movement focused on producing food locally and serving it to local consumers. It is a hot new trend among restaurants).

What does all this have to do with credit unions?

There is a striking similarity between big box grocery stores and chain restaurants and big banks.   Products are sourced nationally, and profits go up to shareholders.    Customers shop these establishments because of the variety of choices and products and convenient locations.

Yet despite the convenience and abundance, more and more consumers are looking for healthy, local, organic, community-supporting options.

That’s where credit unions come in.

Gen Y women are especially focused on their values and the values of the companies they do business with.    Credit unions share these community-focused values.   Credit unions do not serve shareholders, they serve members.    It’s about keeping money local.   Member to member instead of customer to shareholder.

While banks and chain restaurants share the advantage of many convenient locations, credit unions are catching up on that front.  With partnerships and ATMs now widely available, credit unions no longer have to battle the “you don’t have enough branches” complaint.

On the variety of services and products front, big banks may still have an edge.    But again, credit unions are catching up with mobile banking and expansion of other service offerings.

Here’s why this is such a big opportunity.  A research report from BancVue found that:

72% of Gen Y adults say banking locally is somewhat important to them.

23% say they don’t bank locally because they don’t believe a community bank or credit union can provide the same benefits they’re getting at their current bank.

30% of these Gen Y consumers say they don’t use a community bank or credit union because they’ve “never thought about it.”

Make them think about it.  How can you tie your credit union to a “shop local, eat local, bank local” theme?  (Hint, looking for event partners or sponsorship opportunities?  Reach out to these organizations)  Where you grow your money is as important as where you grow you food.   Farm to table, member to member.  Make more conscious financial decisions.  Tie this message in with your great rates and low fees, and you’ve got a recipe for marketing success.

Holly Buchanan

Holly Buchanan

Holly Buchanan is the author of Selling Financial Services to Women – What Men Need to Know and Even Women Will Be Surprised to Learn. She is the co-author of The ... Web: Details