To get an introduction about how generational targeting can boost credit union sales and marketing strategy, and in particular for Gen X, check out our previous post in this series: Marketing, Multi-Generational Differences, and Credit Unions: Gen X

Part 2: Millennials and Credit Unions

Millennial Image

Millennials get a lot of flack—they’re selfish, they’re entitled, they’re apathetic… Fair or not (and it’s mostly not), the bottom line is: Millennials are changing everything, and, as the largest generation in history, figuring out how to do business with them is essential for the future of your credit union.

Thanks to the world in which they grew up, Millennials are also approaching adulthood in different ways than previous generations. They are postponing marriage and having families, and record numbers of them, compared with previous generations, say they have no religious affiliation. They are also far more tolerant than previous generations. Polls show they are far less prone to casting negative moral judgments on LGBTQ issues, interracial marriages, single mothers, mother with young children working outside the home, and unwed couples living together. This general acceptance means no one is left out or shunned from the table, everyone’s ideas can be heard.

As a result, Millennials are a generation defined by their coping mechanisms, and a subsequent refusal to be defeated by the obstacles, instead are inventing new and better ways around them. For better or worse, this has produced a “make the best of it” attitude but with the caveat of questioning everything the rest of us view as set in stone.

Millennial Image

Things credit unions should know about Millennials:

  • Millennials are approaching adulthood in ways we haven’t seen in earlier generations. They are willing to sacrifice, take risks, work together, move back home, and take on multiple challenges to get where they want to go. Stable careers and steady paychecks aren’t what drive them. Finding happiness, a sense of accomplishment, opportunities for innovative thinking, and a feeling of social responsibility in their work and lives is key.
  • When it comes to building their financial futures, they just aren’t really thinking about credit unions yet. In fact, a recent FICO survey found 20% of consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 use a credit union as their primary financial institution and only 10% use one as their preferred financial institution.
  • Community matters as much as technology, and vice versa. Thanks to strong connections to community, Millennials generally want to support their locally-owned businesses, like credit unions and community banks. But growing up in a world shaped by technology means they also want the convenience that big banks offer.  Technology, mobility, and convenience, plus strong mission and values, are critical to them. Luckily, credit unions are becoming more tech-savvy, agile and can now do everything or almost everything big banks can do, and then some.
  • Credit unions align with well with Millennial values. There’s a real opportunity for credit unions to expand their reach into this demographic. Especially as credit union’s tend to excel in the categories more important to Millennials: customer service and respect, ease and convenience, lower interest rates, and a good source for information on the basics of personal finance. There is also a natural alignment between the values of Millennials and the mission of community banks and credit unions.

Millennial Image

Tips for customizing your communications for Millennials:

  • Show how you meet their (huge) expectations
  • Highlight superior customer services
  • Challenge the norms
  • Show you understand their lifestyles
  • Demonstrate flexibility and make it easy
  • Be transparent
  • Show generosity and community support
  • Be direct

If you’d like to get more information on connecting with different generations as part of your marketing and sales strategies for credit unions, you can download our FREE eBook here.

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