Narcissistic Gen Y? Oh my!

Gen Y members are stereotyped as being independent, tech savvy, and narcissist. How can credit unions take advantage of these supposed personality traits?


The New York Times described my Gen Y generation as overconfident, lazy, and self-centered, going as far as to rename us the “Why-Worry Generation.”  Having never thought of my peers or myself in this light, I decided to research other views. Sure enough, I found some consistent stereotypes. Let’s examine three of the most well-known stereotypic traits and discuss how credit unions can use these qualities to serve and retain Gen Y members.

Adj., not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct
There are ways to attract Gen Y members other than through a parent relationship. I lost my faith in banks following my unjustly closed credit card account and my discontinued college loan halfway through my education. I independently developed my own view on banks; regardless of the fact that my parents use banks. As a soon-to-be college grad, I seek independence. I’ve researched alternative banking options, i.e., credit unions. We all aren’t controlled by our parents’ habits. Many of us are developing our own opinions, so don’t forget about us!

Tech Savvy
Adj., having a practical understanding of technology
Utilizing online banking options is imperative, but providing other tech options is important as well. I’m looking for convenience when it comes to banking. Callahan has blogged about remote deposit applications (Will Credit Unions Look for “Geek Love?”; Score: 2 to 2). And Digital FCU is a great example of a credit union that is using remote deposit to attract members and prove it can support all of their banking needs. With remote deposit applications, members use their smart phones to take a picture of – and then deposit – a check, all without going into a physical branch. If I was hesitant about joining a CU because the nearest branch was 20 miles away, this sort of feature would ease my mind.

Adj., excessive self-love
Ouch. This is a tough one. Although this might seem like a negative trait, credit unions can turn it into an opportunity to feed our personality. If we love ourselves so much, why not make products that reflect our personalities? Items such as personalized credit cards with college logos or tropical beach backgrounds are attractive and help promote personal identity. Throw in a cardholder’s picture on the card and you’ll have them sold. It’s personal. It’s self-identitifying. It’s Generation Y.



June 24, 2010



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