The power of positivity: Because credit unions are the good guys

Feeling good just… feels good, you know?  It’s no secret that given the choice we would like to worry less and enjoy more.  But what if you feel that you just… can’t?  You see that proverbial glass as half-empty, no matter how you spin it.  A recent study by Michigan State University points to how evolutionarily-speaking, we’re hardwired to be negative or positive.  Results of this study are being considered in workplace culture, but what about trying to reach people outside your credit union: your target market?  Can a positive message draw someone in?

In short, yes (we’ll spare you all the psycho-babble of this 2014 study that looked at how mood affects decision making).  The bottom line of that quantitative research is that they found positive mood fosters the use of compensatory strategies that take more information into account.  Translation: when we experience something that makes us feel happy, we are more able to make informed decisions by, quite literally, having an open mind.  In contrast, a negative mood shuts us down, we push away from any external considerations and as a result avoid thinking (or, in that psycho-babble, we “narrow our focus of attention”).  Ever tried to reason with a toddler throwing a tantrum?

The trick is not to force it: above all, be honest.  Do what you can to tell a [good] story.  You don’t have to write a novel on your credit union’s history, or fill your website with every available stock image of laughing, carefree individuals.  Connect with your current members and allow them to tell your story.  How has your credit union been the good guy in their lives?  It could be anything from approving a loan when all other banks kept turning them down, or simply by making access to their finances easy with new tools and an easy-to-navigate website.  Give people a chance to see the good that you’re doing in the community with pictures from that town festival you sponsored, or the middle school team uniforms you helped them secure.  For instance, we encourage our clients to include testimonials on their website because of trying to both inform, and unite, people.

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