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Credit Union Leagues Invigorate Battle Cry to Join a Credit Union

Credit Union Leagues Invigorate Battle Cry to Join a Credit Union By Gina Ragusa
Published January 25, 2013
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Although the hubbub of Bank Transfer Day has calmed, the charge to join a credit union remains as fiery as ever.

Credit union leagues throughout the country are launching creative membership drive campaigns in 2013 with the goal of raising awareness about why joining a credit union is advantageous for just about every American.

Earlier this month the Maine Credit Union League announced that credit unions in its state reached record membership numbers (626,765) as of September 2012. "For many years, we have talked about credit unions being 'the best kept secret in financial services', and it is great to see that the secret about the benefits and value of using a credit union is getting out to more consumers than ever," Maine Credit Union League's President John Murphy said in a release.

The League is also in the throws of unveiling a statewide campaign, “Now Is The Time” aimed at bolstering membership amongst Gen X, Gen Y and women under age 50. The two-year effort will include a comprehensive television campaign geared specifically toward the key demographic.

“This theme reinforces our advantage of this time of strength, in a more aggressive approach,” Debra Trautman, corporate marketing manager stated in a release. “The call to action is direct and states that if you’re not with a credit union, you’re missing out, paying too much, and there’s a solution or an alternative. We will also integrate the campaign with Young & Free, to continue to capture the attention of the important Gen Y demographic.”

Countrywide “Join a Credit Union” Efforts Underway

Credit unions and credit union leagues across America have been chipping away at marketing plans designed to generate more memberships. In late 2011, Credit Unions Online spoke with Jessica Jackson, vice president of corporate communications at South Carolina Federal Credit Union ($1.25 billion, North Charleston, SC) regarding the credit union’s initiative to trademark the slogan, “Every Day Is Bank Transfer Day.”

“We just started adding it to our tag line and wanted to show other credit unions how we were incorporating it into other existing marketing elements,” Jackson explained. The credit union also consulted with the South Carolina Credit Union League about how to encourage other credit unions to use the trademark and mobilize its efforts.

Brandon Pugh director of public affairs at the South Carolina Credit Union League talked about the potential the trademark could have on the movement as a whole. “It certainly has all the necessary elements: flexibility of usage, universal application, and clarity. Without graphic standards there is minimal potential conflict with each credit union's own brand. A key to its acceptance will be credit unions' comfort with executing such a fluid, user-defined campaign.”

Going even further back, the Michigan Credit Union League launched “Love My Credit Union” in 2005 designed as a call to action in support of the credit union difference. The ongoing efforts feature a special website and media campaign for credit union enthusiasts. To further support its directives, Invest in America was created in 2008, which provides special discounts and benefits to credit union members through various partnerships.

The efforts appear to be working as the Michigan Credit Union League announced statewide growth late last year. Collectively, Michigan credit union deposits increased by 5.6% and membership by 1.3% from the previous year.

“Credit unions have developed and cultivated innovative ways to reach out to build relationships with members and to help the people of the state prosper, and that’s why more and more Michigan consumers trust credit unions with their hard-earned money,” MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said in a release. “In addition to financial counseling, credit unions offer programs such as SaveUp and Save To Win, which reward members for saving their money and paying down debt. This approach is what sets credit unions apart.”

Credit unions across the country are having membership drives--find a credit union near you to learn more.

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