What Gen Y Wants

by Theresa Witham

How credit unions can stay—or get!—relevant to young consumers

Credit unions around the world fret about their aging members and look for ideas to attract a younger crowd. In this Q&A, Georgann Smith, director of marketing and communications at CUES Supplier Member The Members Group, Des Moines, discusses strategies to become more relevant to this important demographic.

What does Gen Y want from its financial institution?

An unfortunate stereotype of this age group is that its members are spoiled or indulgent, which can be a roadblock for some Boomer-era CU leaders trying to get into the mindset of this segment of consumers. It’s important to look at the demographic the same as others: It’s composed of individuals, many of whom are goal-oriented and value education/mentoring.

My marketing team has been expanding here recently, and we have seen a great number of very talented and accomplished young people who fall into the Gen Y demo. It’s been incredibly impressive and exciting to see the resumes of young marketers looking to break into a career inside the credit union movement.

new study also contradicts the stereotypes a bit, citing 89 percent of respondents saying the economy is affecting their day-to-day lives, prompting more than half to cut back on their entertainment budget; 32 percent to look for an additional job to make ends meet, and 26 percent to downgrade their living situation. Sounds like a group of people hungry for financial guidance and support, a great opportunity for CUs.

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