How Credit Unions Can Connect with Women

how credit unions can connect with women

What do women care about, perhaps even more than money?  Health.

I recently read interesting research that says there is a direct link between finances and health.  It makes sense.   When you look at life holistically (as so many women do), you see how different areas of your life impact each other.

Credit unions looking to connect with women should pay big-time attention to this research.

You can read about the research and how it’s being applied in the Credit Union Magazine article – “Jumiya: There’s a Direct Link Between Health and Finances.”

Funded by 46 credit unions and five state credit union leagues, the study’s results show that when individuals are healthier, they’re less likely to slide
into delinquency, default, or bankruptcy.

A Florida-based credit union is putting into practice some insights from a recent discovery: Consumers’ health and finances are intimately linked.

“We have a lot of retirees in Florida, but we also have a very young, fit population as well,” says Joe Brancucci, CEO $1.6 billion asset GTE Financial Credit Union in Tampa, Fla. “In California, you have similar positives. People want to be fit and healthy, especially baby boomers. There’s a whole culture around it.”

I immediately thought, “Holy customer engagement opportunity Batman!” What a great way for financial companies to connect with women!   Women are all about health.  They are constantly looking for ways to improve the health of themselves and their families.

“Get Fit” Program

GTE’s Brancucci shared how his credit union is implementing the research into a successful program:

Keeping financial difficulties at bay is at the heart of GTE Financial’s “Get Fit” program. Members can use a smartphone app to track how much they walk every day, merging the results into their account online.

They can redeem “steps” for rewards, such as special coupons to local businesses or cash.

“In January and February, our members logged 78.7 million steps, or about 39,350 miles,” Brancucci says. “We’re also trying to attract a younger set of members with this. So far, they think it’s the coolest thing since sliced bread.”

As of March, GTE Financial was the nation’s only credit union that officially rolled out a customized version for its members with the help of Walkmore, a team of Silicon Valley technologists.

Now that’s exciting stuff.  (FYI, Walkmore is doing a lot of interesting work.  go check them out.)   Credit unions could use this to attract women AND Gen Y customers in their prime borrowing years.

Here’s a video promoting the program.

Why the video works

I think this is a persuasive video.   They use animation/illustration. They dramatize the problem.  The video is simple and memorable.    I like the use of a younger-sounding voiceover guy, instead of the usual deep voice professional announcer.  It makes the video much more relatable.

Using pets in advertising is a winning formula.  I love the use of the dog in the video and the focus on the benefits of walking your dog.

Missed opportunities to reach women and younger people

I do think there’s an opportunity to create another video aimed at women and young people.  Here’s how you could do that:

In this commercial, the credit union representative is an old grey-haired white guy in a suit.    I would love to seen them break through that stereotype here and show a younger person, or a female as the credit union representative.

Next, if you are going to show an overweight person, then shame them, you better NOT feature a woman.   I understand why they chose an overweight man.    (Though I’d be curious to see how the commercial tests with that audience).   But how could you make a woman the hero of the spot?

You could dramatize the benefit instead of the problem.  Talk about the person she wants to be.

Tap into the power of self-identity

Some of the strongest brands in the world know a secret – brand is all about self-identity.   Have you ever met an Apple fan who wasn’t proud to be an Apple fan?  Customers publically tout their affiliation with a brand because they want the world to know,”This is who I am.”

BMW – I am a person who drives the ultimate driving machine.

Whole Foods – I  am someone who believes in organic, healthy food and a sustainable environment.

Michelob Ultra – I am an active and fit person who likes to have fun and adventure, but I also care about my health.  I live the ultra life.

Watch this commercial to see what I  mean.

People watch this commercial and think – Yes, that’s me!

Look for non-stereotypical ways to include women in your credit union marketing

Again, the health tie-in with this campaign is awesome.  It’s a no-brainer for reaching women and sought after Gen Y customers.  I hope other credit unions will build on the success of this initial campaign and create even more innovative marketing materials.

P.S. If you do decide to target women and Geny Y, make sure you follow through with your website.   Right now the GTE Website “Get Fit” landing page features an older man.

GTE Get Fit landing page

If you want to reach out to women, make sure you have images of women as well as men.

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