Sample generic mission statement of ABC financial institution: Our bank/credit unit exists to serve the needs of our customers/members by utilizing the latest and greatest in financial products and services.

Sorry for the delay — I read that and then instantly fell into an involuntary nap.

The nap was great but is definitely a symptom of a greater problem, one your credit union or bank may struggle with. No, I’m not talking about the boring generic mission statement (although that is a common problem with banks and credit unions). Rather, I’m talking about the focus on financial products and services.

Savings accounts. Checking accounts. Certificates of deposit. New and used car loans. Home mortgages. Lines of credit. Text banking.

Zzzzzzz.

Your financial products and services do matter. Your credit union or bank should offer the tools your consumers need to manage their financial lives.

But please keep in mind — these things are simply that: tools.

Credit union and bank leaders place far too much importance on the tools and not nearly enough on what they’re really selling — the consumer experience.

Think about the cool places you like to eat. A local Japanese steakhouse comes to mind. Sure, they have a menu full of appetizing dishes including vegetables, rice, sushi, steak, fish, etc. But the price point is worth it for the experience, not the food.

The same principle applies to your bank or credit union. If your entire marketing strategy revolves around these tools, then your credit union or bank is definitely behind the curve. It’s all about the consumer experience: what the consumer sees, smells, tastes, touches, etc. while interacting with any of your staff.

If you’re not focusing on the experience, then your bank or credit union is serving up sushi gone bad and your bottom line will soon show it.

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