Seriously. Why are we doing this?

This is the question I get asked every year when I schedule our pilgrimage to Chicago to experience Opening Day at Wrigley Field. At the surface level, it’s a logical question.

Baseball is a seasonal sport. One of green grass, sunshine, shirt sleeves and basking in the glory of a warm day from your uncovered seats. Opening Day at the Friendly Confines has none of these characteristics. For the ten years my husband, brother and I have been partaking in this ritual, we’ve experienced snow, sleet, rain, wind and bitter cold. Sometimes all during one game. We’ve purchased gloves, blankets, stocking caps, scarves, and last year’s gem – a Cubs down parka (brilliant!). It’s true. Opening Day in Chicago at the end of March and beginning of April doesn’t look good on paper!

Seriously. Why are we doing this? The answer lies not in the logic but the emotion.

Simon Sinek once famously said, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it.” When you think about your credit union and how to increase member satisfaction, loyalty and engagement, the WHY should be your guiding principle. The what is secondary.

Members have options when it comes to their financial institutions and in all honesty most banks and credit unions offer similar products at similar rates. That’s the WHAT you do.  Your unique selling point is an emotional one. It’s the WHY you do it. It’s your core purpose, your mission, your vision and your values. It’s the common beliefs shared in your membership.

Yes, offer good products at competitive rates. But at the same time lead the conversation about why members should choose you based on the emotional selling point. If you don’t know the answer to the question of WHY—define it. What are the unique wants and needs of your membership? Who are they and what do they believe? How do your members define community and what causes and issues are important to them? People want to be a part of something. They want to feel that they belong. Those emotional ties overrule the sheer logical argument every time.

For us, Opening Day as a Cubs fan means family and love. We are Cubs fans because my dad was a Cubs fan. We watched games during summer afternoons on WGN. We knew all the players, the coaches, the announcers. They were our Chicago family.

Every year, we meet in Chicago for Opening Day because it means the world to us. We love being part of something, thinking of people and times gone by and honoring a family tradition of rooting for the Cubs. The logic goes out the window when it comes to Opening Day. The WHY is the answer. We do it, because of how it makes us feel. You can find that magic for your credit union too.

Opening Day for the last five years has been bittersweet as we lost our dad in 2019. We spend the time talking about him and I always feel like he’s there with us. Likewise, your members have emotional ties with your credit union.  Don’t underestimate the power of the emotional selling point. Remember the WHY is more important than the WHAT when it comes to buying, selling, banking and believing.

Go Cubs!

Bryn C. Conway

Bryn C. Conway

Bryn C. Conway, offers more than 15 years of experience as a former credit union executive with extensive background in strategic planning, brand development, member experience, retail delivery and public ... Web: Details