Empowering People, Amplifying Dreams: Credit Union Marketing Campaign Targets Millennials

Singer Daria Musk will be the centerpiece of a marketing campaign designed to attract Millennials to credit unions.

Who is Daria Musk?

Chances are, you’ve never heard of the young singer-songwriter, who had to break into the music industry without a traditional recording contract. Instead, she used innovative new technology to build a following among a generation of consumers who don’t much like the traditional music business anyway.

And that, CO-OP Financial Services believes, makes Musk the perfect spokesperson for a new marketing campaign designed to attract new members to credit unions — members who may not understand what credit unions are, but who know they’re not satisfied with the status quo.

“The approach Daria took to launching her career has its financial equivalent in credit unions,” says Samantha Paxson, vice president of marketing for CO-OP. “She broke into the music business without a large budget and without a traditional recording contract. Credit unions are generally smaller institutions, but because of the cooperative, people-helping-people spirit that characterizes the movement, they have the unique ability to help Gen Y members realize their own life dreams.”

CO-OP will draw on Musk’s career to tell the credit union story in a campaign called “Empowering People, Amplifying Dreams.” A new consumer-facing website, CO-OPCreditUnions.org, will also help build awareness by explaining how credit unions are different from banks, showing how members and communities benefit from the credit union movement, and inviting consumers to “make the switch” with an easy-to-use credit union locator.

Musk (dariamusk.com) staked out a unique place in pop music both as a performer and an early implementer of digital content channels. In 2011, she began to establish a market for her music by performing a live concert via Google+’s video chat feature, “Hangouts.” She told her story of trial, risk and success at the THINK 13 Conference last year, and performed again at the THINK 14 gathering earlier this month in New Orleans.

“Empowering People, Amplifying Dreams” will primarily use digital content sources to cross-promote credit unions and Musk’s music. Based on CO-OP’s own proprietary consumer research, the campaign will follow Musk’s story as a consumer of financial services, focusing on how her credit union membership is helping her as a young person to become established financially.

“Credit unions are the best option for consumers as a primary financial institution in wide variety of ways, including personalized service, convenient access to funds and great lending rates,” says Stan Hollen, president and CEO of CO-OP Financial Services. “Yet studies show very low awareness of credit union benefits, especially among the young. CO-OP is launching this initiative so that consumers can better understand how our industry empowers individuals to achieve their financial goals.”

CO-OP’s new website will play a key role in the effort, targeting consumers born after 1980 with personal stories of “people like you” who chose to “dream bigger” with credit unions’ help.

“The website focuses on the Millennial generation’s specific challenges and illustrates how credit unions provide the products and services that not only meet their challenges, but also enhance their lives as a result,” Paxson says. “There is widespread dissatisfaction among consumers with their banks, and they are open to switching financial institutions. But they want to do their research first. We intend our website to be a key resource as younger consumers consider their financial futures.”

The website will include “Become a Member,” a directory consumers can use to search for a credit union. The site will also soon feature an enhanced locator to help current credit union members find CO-OP ATMs and CO-OP Shared Branch networks. All credit unions, not just CO-OP members, are included in the directory.

“Making it easy for a website visitor to take the next step in their consideration of credit unions as a financial partner is crucial to our initiative,” Paxson says. “Not only do we want to spread a message – we want people to take action.”

The CO-OP campaign will also be supported by an array of paid advertising and marketing; public and media relations and events; and promotion through Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. For more information about “Empowering People, Amplifying Dreams,” go to www.co-opcreditunions.org.

Questions about this story? Contact Gary M. Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in Marketing & Communications.