Four years ago, a local financial institution came to my school to give a one-hour financial literacy workshop. The banker walked in and started droning on: “I’m from the local bank. Today, we’ll learn about budgeting, saving, and investing…” Most of my friends dozed off or started talking to each other. Some were even playing on their phones under the table. Before the banker left, he placed some flyers on the table that prompted students to open checking accounts … we can all imagine how effective that was.
Now picture this: you have a student in your community that knows your credit union inside and out. The student adores your organization and believes in your mission. The student spreads the word of your credit union across campus: organizing engaging school events, mentioning it to friends at parties, posting about it on social media. Other students begin to take notice. They are intrigued: “So these credit unions are nonprofit? And they have all these benefits? That sounds too good to be true”. They ask the student for more information and they are directed to you!
Brand Ambassadors are no new concept, yet they are continuously overlooked by credit unions. Lululemon, Red Bull and Bumble have all invested heavily in building out student ambassador programs, and guess what … these are the kinds of brands that college students all talk about, understand and recognize!
A Brand Ambassador is an individual who works closely with an organization and acts as a representative and advocate. For credit unions, it’s someone who truly believes in your mission and they want to spread the word. In return, they get rewarded in some form (membership benefits, cash prizes, merch… you name it).
Based on our recent survey at Duke University, a whopping 76% of students don’t even know what a credit union is. Establishing brand ambassadors for your credit union could be the key to bridging this gap. By having a student that can relay the mission of your credit union to their friends and peers in a way that is familiar, relatable and authentic, will help to reduce uncertainty around the function of credit unions and, ultimately, direct a wave of younger customers towards your credit union.
The best place to start is to see if there are any students that already use your service. For instance, here at Zogo, we have built a network of student ambassadors by reaching out directly to students that already use and love our financial literacy app. Having students that already engage with and believe in your product can be a great starting point. Devise an incentivized program, reach out to them directly, brainstorm with them and make them feel like part of the team.
Don’t know where to start? Not to worry. Here at Zogo, we work with over 75 credit unions nationwide to help them engage with the younger generations through our gamified financial literacy app and our network of student ambassadors. In just one year, we have amassed over 100,000 Gen Z users from across the United States. Having a product on hand that is both interactive and engaging to younger generations can be the first step towards getting students familiar with your organization and establishing a successful brand ambassador program.
Visit www.zogofinance.com to meet with one of our Gen Z specialists and see how we can help your credit union tap into the future generations.