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Article Image: St. Charles Borromeo FCU becomes ‘Unity Catholic’

St. Charles Borromeo FCU becomes ‘Unity Catholic’

In an article published by the Parma Chamber of Commerce, the credit union said the name change was “a result of their expansion throughout the years, and that it would “better represent the 18 parishes that they currently serve.” St. Charles Borromeo Federal Credit Union was originally established in 1942 to serve the parishioners of […] Read More

Article Image: Guest Post: The Value Of Customer Engagement

Guest Post: The Value Of Customer Engagement

cScape recently released the results of its annual Online Customer Engagement Survey. One of its contributors is Theo Papadakis who wrote the following: Writing in ClickZ, Neil Mason denigrates the value of the concept of customer engagement on the ground that it is impossible to define and therefore useless. Neil proposes an alternative concept with […] Read More

Article Image: Hiding Behind The Veil Of Experimentation

Hiding Behind The Veil Of Experimentation

As the early Baby Boomers (or should I just say people born between 1945 and 1955) come of presidential age, we’re sure to hear more politicians admit to having “experimented” with marijuana in their college days. As if experimenting makes that OK. Is it OK to “experiment” with grand theft auto? How about “experimenting” with […] Read More

Article Image: Employee-Generated Strategy

Employee-Generated Strategy

Tinfoiling writes: The lowest employee on the organization chart has the greatest contact with the customer. But why are they the least consulted when it comes to any change in process with the customer? My take: The reason, Gene, is that there is a lingering perception among many senior execs that only senior managers (can/should) […] Read More

Article Image: Who's Gonna Buy E*Trade?

Who's Gonna Buy E*Trade?

All the talk seems to center around Schwab and TD Ameritrade. Seems to me, though, the only thing in it for those two firms is scale. Here’s who I think should acquire E*Trade: Commerce Bank. Culturally and financially, I don’t know if this is a great fit, but the two firms would complement some of […] Read More

Article Image: Newport News Shipbuilding Employees Credit Union becomes ‘BayPort’

Newport News Shipbuilding Employees Credit Union becomes ‘BayPort’

Virginia state law says credit unions are to hold a member vote where new names need to be approved by a simple majority. Newport News Shipbuilding Employees Credit Union decided to keep the old name and get a DBA for BayPort instead. BayPort’s president and CEO, George R. Dudley Jr., said the credit union’s roster […] Read More

Article Image: It Doesn’t Take A Genius To Read This Blog

It Doesn’t Take A Genius To Read This Blog

Apparently, all you need is a high school education. At least that’s what the Blog Readability Test says. Type in your blog’s URL and it tells you what level of education is required to understand your blog. I don’t know if this is good or bad. Does that mean I write clearly and succinctly enough […] Read More

Article Image: Off-Topic: Why So Many Conferences Suck

Off-Topic: Why So Many Conferences Suck

On the Jupiter Research blog, Michael Gartenberg opined that “most conferences suck.” He said he goes to fewer and fewer conferences each year because “there’s so little to be gained as an attendee.” My take: He is so right. Gartenberg didn’t elaborate on why there’s so little to be gained, however, so I’ll add my […] Read More

Article Image: R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means To Me

R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find Out What It Means To Me

Swaminathan at Customer World recently blogged about enterprise feedback management vendor Allegiance’s Pulse of America survey which found four areas that retail banks should emphasize to increase customer loyalty and engagement: 1) Helpful service; 2) Clear communications; 3) Personal connection; and 4) Respect. In commenting on the survey, Swaminathan wrote: “I quite agree with personal […] Read More

Article Image: BN West changes name to ‘MilePost’

BN West changes name to ‘MilePost’

“Our new name reflects the mileposts that mark the progress of a journey toward a future destination, and our goal as a credit union is to help every member achieve financial freedom at each junction in life,” said Dan Fiorino, president/CEO of the credit union an article in the Credit Union Times. From the credit […] Read More

Article Image: Mobile Banking: Boom Or Fizzle?

Mobile Banking: Boom Or Fizzle?

As reported in Finextra, TowerGroup expects the number of mobile banking users in the US to increase four-fold in just one year, from 1.1 million in 2007 to 4.6 million users in 2008, and then up to nearly 29 million in 2011. The growth, according to the analyst firm “will be driven by major improvements […] Read More

Article Image: Will Somebody Please Definitively Define The Generations?

Will Somebody Please Definitively Define The Generations?

I’ve often referred to Boomers and Gen Yers in my blog posts without defining exactly who I’m talking about. I use the definitions that Forrester Research has used for the past few years: Gen Yers are born between 1975-1990, Gen Xers 1964-1974, Boomers 1946-1963, and Seniors pre-1946. And although I thought that the Millennials were […] Read More

Article Image: Competing On Service Is A Flawed Strategy (And Other Random Thoughts)

Competing On Service Is A Flawed Strategy (And Other Random Thoughts)

Overheard (inside my head) on the train from NY to Boston: ———————————————————————————————————————— Competing on service is a flawed strategy. It’s like saying “We’re really good at fixing our mistakes.” If you didn’t screw up so much in the first place, you wouldn’t have to be so good at service. ———————————————————————————————————————— A raft of studies have […] Read More

Article Image: Four BS BI Trends (And One Good One)

Four BS BI Trends (And One Good One)

A recent CIO magazine article listed five trends in BI (business intelligence). The article reports that Gartner found BI to be the “number one technology issue for 2007” (which I find incredibly hard to believe). Here’s my take on the trends: BI Trend #1: There’s so much data, but too little insight. My take: This […] Read More

Article Image: Random Thoughts On The Train From Boston To NY

Random Thoughts On The Train From Boston To NY

Competing on service is a flawed strategy. It’s like saying “We’re really good at fixing our mistakes.” If you didn’t screw up so much in the first place, you wouldn’t have to be so good at service. A raft of studies have come out showing that online user reviews are used by consumers researching products and […] Read More

Article Image: Tom Brokaw On 1968 Versus 2008

Tom Brokaw On 1968 Versus 2008

In a recent interview published in Time magazine, Tom Brokaw was asked why we constantly compare today’s youth and politics to those of the 60s. He said: We’re at war. It’s an unpopular and divisive war. Again, the elites have the privilege of avoiding military service because it’s an all-voluntary military. We have a much […] Read More

Article Image: Random Thoughts From Ad:Tech

Random Thoughts From Ad:Tech

Thought I’d share some of the stuff that went through my head (and in one case, out my mouth) during my trip to NY for the Ad:Tech conference. ———————————————————————————————————————— [On the subway to the hotel] “New Yorkers are freaking amazing. How the hell can they sleep on the subway, and wake up just in time […] Read More

Article Image: The Credit Union Halo Effect

The Credit Union Halo Effect

I had a conversation recently with some really smart people working in the credit union space. It was their opinion that, from a technology standpoint, credit unions were lagging banks. My take: I’m not so sure credit union members would agree. Research done by a couple of the leading analyst firms challenges my friends’ opinion […] Read More

Article Image: Updated Bank Ad Slogans For 2008

Updated Bank Ad Slogans For 2008

As we approach 2008, I thought it was high time that some financial firms updated their ad slogans. Here are my suggestions: Other suggestions welcome. (Click here for the source of the original slogans) Read More

Article Image: Affinity-Based Banking

Affinity-Based Banking

Tim McAlpine recently blogged about affinity positioning for credit unions, advocating for CUs to define their field of membership around affinities like, among others, women, golfers, blogger, and Emos (my favorite — I can’t help but imagine how pitiful waiting in line at a branch at that CU would be.) This concept shouldn’t be limited […] Read More

Article Image: Looks Like Word Of Mouth Could Use A Shot Of Collagen

Looks Like Word Of Mouth Could Use A Shot Of Collagen

I promised myself that I would lay low on anti-Net Promoter Score posts. But promises are made to be broken, right? A recent Forrester report titled Demystifying The WOM Consumer (pw req’d) is to blame for my broken promise. According to a survey it did of 5,000 US households, Forrester found that nearly half of […] Read More

Article Image: Trust Is A Two-Way Street

Trust Is A Two-Way Street

If he wasn’t the first to coin the term trust-based marketing, then Glen Urban of MIT was certainly one of the first to write about it and help marketers understand the importance of trust in a customer relationship. Today, financial firms are embracing this concept — it seems like just about every FI exhorts consumers […] Read More

Article Image: Bank Branches: Big, Expensive Security Blankets

Bank Branches: Big, Expensive Security Blankets

In response to my NetBank post (and to John Dawson’s comment), Chris Whalen commented: “The issue with Netbank is the cost of customer acquisition. Branches acquire customers. Neither of you addresses the high cost of advertising, marketing etc needed to replace the customer acquisition function of branches in an Internet model.” Mr. Whalen and I […] Read More

Article Image: GE FCU evolves name to ‘General Electric Evendale Employees FCU’

GE FCU evolves name to ‘General Electric Evendale Employees FCU’

No explanation was offered for this slight evolution from GE Federal Credit Union. But in CEO Patrick L. Taylor said in the credit union’s newsletter, “We feel it is necessary to ‘refresh’ and enhance our image as a leader among credit unions. It appears the name change was only a small part of an overall […] Read More

Article Image: How Do YOU Measure Customer Lifetime Value?

How Do YOU Measure Customer Lifetime Value?

In the October 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review, an article titled How Valuable Is Word Of Mouth discusses the distinction between customers’ lifetime value and referral value. The article say this about CLV: Estimating a CLV is relatively straightforward. The value to FirmCo of all that Mary will ever buy equals the amount that […] Read More

Article Image: Minnesota bank becomes ‘Prosperan’

Minnesota bank becomes ‘Prosperan’

From the bank’s website: “Prosperan is a form of the word ‘prosper.’ It means to be successful or fortunate, especially in financial respects, to thrive and flourish. In Spanish it means, ‘all of us prosper.’ It communicates prosperity, growth and security and has an open meaning that allows it to be equally effective, engaging and […] Read More

Article Image: Is The Internet-Only Bank A Viable Model?

Is The Internet-Only Bank A Viable Model?

In an editorial in American Banker titled NetBank Failure Kills One Web Bank Model (pw req’d), Christopher Whalen wrote: [NetBank] was dying — but it wasn’t dying from bad loans. An irrational growth strategy, supported by $1.2 billion in FHLB advances at the end of 2005, as actually killing it. Assets grew [from 2001 to […] Read More

Article Image: The Harsh Truth About Word-of-Mouth Referrals

The Harsh Truth About Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Three business professors did a formal experiment after reading an article about Net Promoter Scores (NPS). They did two separate studies: one involving 9,900 customers of a telecom company, and another involving 6,700 customers of a financial institution. Their conclusions were published in the Harvard Business Review (“How Valuable Is Word of Mouth?” October 2007). […] Read More

Article Image: Two banks merge, change names to ‘Avidia’

Two banks merge, change names to ‘Avidia’

Two New Jersey banks merge assets over $1 billion and become ‘Avidia.’ The bank says the name is a combination of the words “avid” and “idea.” It may not look like it means anything, but at least it doesn’t look like it will get them in trademark trouble. Read More