Aug 15, 2008
Aug 13, 2008
After reading so much about the successes of Young & Free Alberta in targeting Generation Y, we knew it was only a matter of time before a similar concept would be introduced in the United States. And this week it was; Young & Free Texas was launched by Texas Dow Employees Credit Union.
In reading the news and visiting the site, I initially thought the Texas initiative would generate the same kind of buzz and success, if not more, that it did for Commonwealth Credit Union in Alberta. This is especially true as we havn't seen other institutions going to equal lengths to target Gen Y.
But it looks like Texas-based Resource One Credit Union is launching an extremely similar initiative this week: my life, my money. Not only are these initiatives both targeting members of Generation Y in Texas - but also use social media in their marketing, are offering a similar checking/savings account, and are intending to hire a spokesperson - with nearly identical perks.
It will be interesting to see how both are received and talked about during their respective searches for spokespeople - and in the months that follow.
Update: there are a couple great discussions discussing both of these accounts/initiatives in depth, one on Everything CU and another on The Financial Brand.
Aug 6, 2008
According to a feature in the latest ABA Bank Marketing Magazine you should be. The title of the article You Should be on YouTube raises huge concerns, as it implies that all readers should have a presence on the website. While I was a bit surprised to read such a definite statement, I was more alarmed by the statement that followed:
“If you are not, your competition might beat you to it.”
Who cares if your competition beats you to it? If a YouTube video doesn’t support your marketing efforts and overall strategy, you shouldn’t waste resources developing, posting and managing content – especially for the sake of having a video online before your competition does.
Overall, the article does make good points about blogs and podcasts, but sends the wrong message in being so definitive about being on YouTube. We can all think of institutions who have no business posting videos online; and there are plenty of wildly successful institutions who aren’t on YouTube and aren't worried that their competition is – for many institutions it just doesn’t make sense.
Aug 3, 2008
The issue of relevance is on my mind again this week as the world prepares for the summer Olympic Games in Beijing. If you scan through the list of corporate sponsors of the Olympics you’ll see the venerable name of Kodak. What you may not know is that last October the company whose name was once synonymous with film and cameras announced that it was ending its role as a top corporate sponsor of the Olympics after this summer's games – an ongoing sponsor relationship that began over 100 years ago with the first modern games in 1896.
At the time of the announcement, Elizabeth Noonan, Kodak's director of brand management, stated "As we complete the transformation of Kodak, it makes sense for us to take a new direction." What she didn’t say was that Kodak hasn’t transformed its business model as fast as the changes in related technology or consumer expectation. They simply didn’t adjust to the transition from film photography to digital photography as it was happening. When was the last time you dropped off a roll of film for developing? Professional and amateur photographers alike have numerous options today including digital cameras, digital printing and online photo management applications like Flickr. As Kodak scrambles to compete, they have experienced massive net losses and its workforce has dropped to half what it was in 2003.
What can the financial services industry learn from this example? A great deal! Look at how new technology within this industry has already changed consumer behaviors across the demographic spectrum. By paying close attention to the shifts in your industry and your market, and proactively adapting to those changes, you have a greater likelihood of remaining relevant to your customer and avoiding the same fate as Kodak.