Selling Financial Products is Similar to Selling Victoria’s Secret: Amplify Keynoter

Susan Sachatello brings years of national branding experience to CUNA Mutual’s TruStage insurance line. She will tell Amplify Convention attendees why taking a retail approach works with credit union members.

What do marketing lingerie and life insurance have in common?  And why do credit unions need to find out?

The answers could help to recruit and strengthen relationships with members.  

Attendees to the Northwest Credit Union Association’s Amplify Convention in Spokane next month will have their eyes opened to branding, consumer behaviors and relationships during the opening general session, “Current Consumer Trends and a Retail-Focused Response.”

And the keynote speaker knows first-hand what marketing lingerie and life insurance have in common.

Susan Sachatello, senior vice president, TruStage, CUNA Mutual Group is leading a team that is successfully protecting more than 14 million consumers with TruStage insurance products. In an industry with flat to two percent annual growth, TruStage is growing its reach by more than ten percent a year. You might say on Sachatello’s watch, TruStage insurance has it “sexy” on.

Sachatello came to CUNA Mutual’s TruStage not from the world of actuaries, underwriters or even credit union sales. She is a former executive vice president of marketing for Victoria’s Secret, and also served in key marketing roles for other retail industry giants.

“Selling insurance is exactly like selling Victoria’s Secret,” Sachatello declares. “Always start with the customer and the brand.” If you’re clearly focused on those two priorities, Sachatello says, “Everything else you do is the same…One of the things I learned being a retailer is that you really have to see the world through the customer’s eyes.”

In growing the TruStage brand, Sachatello and her team study not only other insurance products, but focus even more deeply on consumer buying behaviors. For example, people can buy shoes online and have them delivered within 24 hours. They can instantly download books and music. They expect the same speedy service from other industries, and their expectations have to be met and managed.

“We are all in consumer retailing — all of us,” Sachatello says. She acknowledges that insurance isn’t top of mind for consumers, so the retail-focused approach TruStage takes is, “Just get started.” 

“If you wait, insurance just gets expensive over time and that means there is an enormous opportunity cost,” she noted. Consumers are instead encouraged to obtain even a little coverage, giving them peace of mind and raising their awareness. Sachatello says TruStage often invests up to seven years in the customer relationship before it becomes profitable, but it strengthens the relationship with the consumer and the consumer’s relationship with their credit union.

Sachatello will share her insights on trends, consumer behaviors and deepening relationships with members when she takes the stage at Amplify. She will deliver the opening keynote address on Wednesday, October 8. 

Registration for Amplify Convention is open online. In addition to two days of interactive presentations and keynote addresses, the NWCUA’s Annual Business Meeting, Strategic Link Trade Show, Heroes of Hope auction for Credit Unions for Kids, and the Amplify Awards Dinner will be featured.

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225,

Posted in CUNA, Events, Marketing & Communications.