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“The funny thing about the modern age is that the best marketing isn’t about changing your messaging. It’s about changing your product.” – Ivan Askwith

Ivan Askwith doesn’t want you to do a little better. He thinks that by changing your perspective – and taking action on your best radical ideas – you can build your membership into a cult following.

Askwith isn’t the first to suggest that credit unions might become cult brands. But his credibility on the subject exceeds the norm. Not only has he studied fan culture at MIT, but he is also the strategic force behind record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns for the “Veronica Mars “ movie and the revival of “Reading Rainbow.”

What drives people to think and act as fans? Askwith suggests developing a meaningful connection based on solving your members’ problems, making their lives better, encouraging a true sense of community and validating the common values that make your organization a standout. That’s going to take more than an awesome tagline, but what if the effort paid off?

“I’m really intrigued by the idea of the member experience at a credit union being so strong that when people ask you the things that define you, instead of saying, ‘I drink Coke and not Pepsi,’ you would say, ‘Well, I would never use a bank. I am a credit union because that aligns with the values that make me who I am,’ “ Askwith says. “I find that captivating because I think credit unions could do it on a scale that banks could never hope to.”