You can’t make every member happy . . . you’re not a taco

Ricky Nelson hosted a Garden Party and informed us “Ya can’t please everyone, so ya gotta please yourself.” John Lydgate, a 14th-century poet, is credited with “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” And 21st century phenom has given us “You can’t make everyone happy…. you’re not a taco.” Try harder, do more. While we all have a grasp on the concept, it’s very hard to put into practice in real life, let alone your credit union. The idea that we can appeal to everyone is difficult to let go of, as we see the value in the value prop: Serve every member your best, and then the credit union will have excellent growth. This sounds wonderful but, history has shown us, is not possible. In order to matter to the people you’re talking to, you have to show value. And value can be defined very differently depending on the person. So one generic message will never be the right message for all.

Filene Research Institute shared their findings for growth in one of their most recent reports, addressing best practices for growing your membership long-term. And while you can’t effectively serve and sell to everyone, some strategies are more effective than others in offering superior member services to the majority of people, the majority of times:

There is No “We” in Tacos: Not Everyone is Your Target

Once you realize that not everyone is your target member, you can better focus on ones who are. In the world of marketing, this exercise is often referred to as Persona Development. A “Persona” is a fictional representation of an actual member and includes traits, demographics, shared interests and characteristics about this target representation. Personas are vital to the success of a marketing campaign and product offering/development as they drive decisions throughout the organization. They do so by taking member needs and bringing them to the forefront of planning, providing the team with a clear, concise understanding of goals and capabilities of your target market. Then, instead of having to work on programs and services for all possible members, you can focus on doing an exceptional job for the personas that best represent your most common (and lucrative) members.


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