This post might not be for you. Or, it could be exactly what you and your credit union team need.
Inspired By: Someone Else’s Faux Pas
I’ll be honest; the inspiration came from a local chamber of commerce, not a credit union. So, it’s possible none of you are making this mistake. Unless you are…
We’re going to talk about messaging. Public perception. How you convey yourselves to your target audience. Be it your members or the community at large. Just as it can raise positive awareness, publicity can paint an undesirable picture. I saw this happen with a large chamber of commerce in my area. Pretty sure they didn’t notice the faux pas. So what happened?
Who’s Your Target Audience? (ie. Who do you serve?)
First, let’s back up and ensure we are all on the same page. Whether you’re a chamber of commerce or credit union, who is your target audience? Exactly. Local businesses and their staff, residents, and those you wish to attract to the area. Who do you serve? Well, your members. When these two things line up, you can better pursue your mission.
In the case of this chamber of commerce, they held a major event, complete with ribbon cutting by the mayor, to celebrate the opening of…a Krispy Kreme. Now, I don’t know if their stores are franchise or corporate, yet think about it. Is this the message they really want to promote? That a big, multi-national corporation gets special treatment and recognition, while thousands of local businesses, each with their own unique stories to tell, get ignored? To clarify, this isn’t something they do for every new business opening, even of chamber members.
In real estate, the oft-repeated phrase is: “Location, location, location.” Here, could we say it’s “perception, perception, perception”? If an institution talks about being there for the “little guys”, then makes a big deal out of the exact opposite, what do you think? It comes across as hypocritical towards the local businesses they espouse to promote and support. Where is the event for the local business whose staff and owner overcame enormous struggles to be successful? Or even to just open their doors?
Like I said, you might not be making this mistake. But in case you are…awareness is a good thing.