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The world has changed exponentially over the last decade as both credit unions and their members have become more sophisticated, technologically adept, price-smart and also conscious of the impact of owning a good reputation.

Technology has reset the value equation across the spectrum of member engagement. Power has switched from the supply side to the demand side of financial services, disrupting the one-way brand model that focused on winning minds. Technology plus creativity is transforming the financial services industry. The goal now is to deliver wonder and delight at digital speed.

The empowerment of members will only grow as the “Internet of Things” connects everything to everyone, driving down the marginal cost of production and distribution. Expect to see a similar dynamic to what technology did with the supply of information.

Emotional fulfillment, not technology, will be the winning formula for a successful brand. People like technology – but not as much as they like other people. The more digital life gets, the more people will value being understood by and involved with other people. Relationships will always trump technology.

And big data? Is it the new nirvana – the perfect storm of insights? Big data needs big emotion, because algorithms can read lines, but not between them. The human touch is needed to make sense of the data tsunami.

As Sara Critchfield declared in her keynote at THINK 15: “Using your emotions as data is so worth it.” Among the benefits of emotional data:

  • Thinking divergently with greater creativity.
  • Leaving the 1950s behind. Prioritizing logic over emotion is an outdated paradigm. The new paradigm is to align data with emotions.
  • Embracing data to elevate human perspective. Without data, a tyranny of subjectivity prevails. Bringing data into the boardroom gives your members a voice.

Data alone is worthless. It needs to be grounded by emotion in order to become insightful. And, as researcher Nathan Eagle points out: “The data themselves, unless they are actionable, aren’t relevant or interesting. What is interesting is what we can now do with them to make people’s lives better.

CO-OP THINK Ubitech lessons from THINK 15