Marketing

New Web Tool Will Help CUs Grow Membership

CUNA-League partnership builds website, aSmarterChoice.org, with all-inclusive CU locater.

February 16, 2011
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CUNA will unveil a new web-based tool that will help tell the credit union story and encourage consumers nationwide to join credit unions.

The new site, aSmarterChoice.org, will go live Feb. 28 during CUNA’s Governmental Affairs Conference, Feb. 28 to March 3 in Washington, D.C. It’s being developed through a partnership between CUNA and state credit union leagues/associations, with development and maintenance costs borne entirely by the state associations.

There’s no charge for consumers or credit unions to use the website.

A key element of aSmarterChoice.org will be the first consolidated and comprehensive “credit union locater,” which will direct consumers to credit unions they can join, with minimal hassle and no confusion. The credit union finder will include all credit unions, regardless of their charter, affiliation, size, or business models.

The website will also include basic information about credit unions, the latest “good news” about credit unions appearing in the media, and much more.

The genesis for the project came from a task force assembled by the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), made up of chief executives of several state associations. In their deliberations, the task force identified a key goal for the new web tool: Helping credit unions build membership.

“Over the years, credit unions have laid down a strong foundation of loyalty among their members, which is cemented by reasonably priced financial services and trust that ‘members come first,’” says Task Force Chairman Paul Gentile, president/CEO of the New Jersey Credit Union League. “But as many of us know all too well, extending that foundation to nonmembers has been a challenge, particularly in telling them the credit union story or convincing them that a credit union is their best option for financial services.

ASmarterChoice.org is a tool for the movement to use in driving more consumers toward credit union membership, and present to them a whole picture about credit unions,” Gentile adds.

He says that a key element of the site will be its focus on consumers and their needs, not on credit union jargon and terms.

CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney noted that a website gives the credit union movement a sustainable presence that can continually drive membership growth—without the overhead and logistical challenges that a national branding campaign can present.

“New technology can give us an affordable opportunity to be as equally effective as a brand campaign,” he says.

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