Members Bank From The Heart. Do You?

A new ad from Simple throws down the gauntlet for thinking about financial services not as commodities but as tools for a better life.

It’s not very often that an ad for banking services hits people right in the heartstrings, yet that is exactly what happened when Simple CEO Joshua Reich unveiled his company’s ad for its new Goals feature to attendees at the recent 2015 Financial Brand Forum in Las Vegas.

I could explain more, but it’s really better if you just watch

Video Via Simple

It’s a beautiful ad, albeit by a competitor of credit unions, yet the real reason it works so well is that the savings product itself is just background noise compared to what it allowed the protagonist to do: buy a ring and propose to someone he loves.

That’s exactly how most American’s view their banking as well. Their world isn’t regulations, board packets, percentage points, and interchange; it’s a home, a car, an education, an adventure, a family, and all the other things that make life worth living.

That’s not to say you should shield your members from being educated about their finances. In fact, in a world where 35% of Americans don’t know what the interest rate is on their mortgage and 24% have more credit card debt than savings, doing so would be a downright disservice.

Yet in a world full of checking accounts, loans, and other offerings which from the member’s perspective pretty much offer the same thing, messaging to the end user about their priorities rather than your own can have a big impact on behavior.

For example, Simple’s average user age is 28, Reich explains. And while the typical personal saving rate for this demographic is -0.2% of earnings, Simple users average around 35%.

Credit union’s pride themselves on shaping their products and services around their members’ needs, not the other way around. And this localized focus results in countless real-life success stories.

Yet as the task of running a modern credit union becomes ever more complex, the ongoing challenge will be to make sure these messages of the heart are given just as much prominence in your business model, if not even more so, than those of the wallet.

May 27, 2015

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