The Northwestern Financial Review ran a story back in 2004 on research conducted by financial consulting firm NewGround Resources. The study included 480 credit unions. From the article:
- Only 2% of those in the survey believed that there is “lots of differentiation” among credit unions
- 68% said they expect their member representatives to deliver a memorable experience over and above the basics of good service
- 78% of credit unions said they were in the business of “building emotional loyalty”
- 26% said they had outgrown and changed their name
- 38% were planning to change their name
- 21% said lack of creative thinking was their biggest challenge
- 69% said their main competitor was a local or nationwide bank
- 20% said their main competition was other credit unions
Key Question: How can you deliver a memorable experience when you don’t offer anything different from your peers?
Reality Check: Credit unions now compete with credit unions. More community charters means more competition. This could strain the cooperative spirit that has historically existed between peers.