Businesses are like sharks: If they don’t move, they die.
Stagnant credit unions, or those “at rest,” risk suffering a similar fate.
That’s one reason the theme of this year’s CUNA Marketing & Business Development Council Conference was “innovation.”
You may think you don't have enough time, money, or people to innovate. That’s not necessarily true.
“Less” can be a good thing. Limited resources can force us to be more creative.
You may think of innovation as an extreme, equating it with invention. But radical innovation isn’t required. Incremental innovation is.
Consider this definition of innovation from Market Insights:
“Innovation is a new way of doing something. It may refer to incremental and emergent or radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, products, processes, or organizations.”
By this definition, innovation can be enormous or miniscule. Either way, credit unions must innovate to survive.
Some thoughts to consider about innovation:
Move somewhere else
Some competitive strategies restrict marketers and business development professionals to frame their market in traditional, competitive terms—anchoring them to the same structure, system, and markets as their competitors.
A better strategy may be to go where others aren’t.
Sam Walton's profitable strategy for Wal-Mart, for example, was to go where no competitor would dream of going: To towns seemingly too small to support a large discount store.
This “go where they aren’t” strategy also fueled McGladrey & Pullen, one of the nation's largest accounting firms. With Big Six firms dominating America's largest cities, McGladrey focused on being the only national accounting firm in much smaller cities.
Southwest Airlines followed a similar strategy and redefined its market.
Ponder this: Are you anchored by traditional “competitive strategies?”
Next: What business are you really in?