Susan Mitchell and Brandi Stankovich (Mitchell, Stankovich and Associates) discussed in their session I AM a Credit Union: Consumer Storytelling = Grassroots growth how to build member connections within the community and exploit the power of outreach by taking ownership, literally, of the credit union.

Consumers have transformed into producers. Just look at Twitter, Instagram or other tools that allow people to be creative and produce content. New applications and platforms are emerging that are less about conversation and more about collaboration. Pinterest and Facebook come to mind. Meaning, people have different expectations from credit unions when it comes to marketing. Credit Unions have to combine best practices with innovation in the spirit of Steve Jobs: “It’s really not possible to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

While it’s important to activate your audience, you need to do it on their terms: customized, personable. You need to listen to members and prospective customers. Or, you’ll suffer the consequences. Just ask United.



You need to break through marketing barriers to succeed in the future:

  • Assumptions: I already know what my members know, feel and want
  • Arrogance: I don’t need to know what my members know, feel or want
  • Indifference: I don’t care to know what my members know, feel or want
  • Control: I don’t want others to know what I know, feel or want
Once you crossed those barriers, how can you make members listen to you?
It’s all about storytelling, sharing your own Credit Union story and allow your members to share their story. 
  1. Relationships – Who you know
  2. Insight – What you know
  3. Success – What have you done?
  4. Ability  What you can do?
  5. Sacrifice – How you have lived?

Don’t make the story too complicated, keep it simple, get to the point and say it over and over and over again. Be succinct. Empower people.Just like Dr. Pepper’s taps into the power of individuality.


Credit Unions are about members. Because I AM a Credit Union.

This grassroots campaign shows that once you give people a platform and shared purpose to rally around, they will get involved. We have an abundance of stories to tell. Give people the opportunity to share their story with the world and they will spread the word for you.

I AM a Credit Union. Are you?