Because of a discount wine app a friend told me about recently, I am used to trying a varied array of less expensive champagnes and sparkling wines. So, when I had the opportunity to try Dom Perignon last year in Paris to celebrate my elopement with my husband and his 25-year old daughter who joined us on the trip, I could barely contain my excitement.
After a day of sightseeing, we returned to the hotel and the three of us elatedly popped the cork expecting sparkles and fireworks as we enjoyed our first sips. And, much to my dismay, the first thoughts that came to my head were “this doesn’t taste any different than anything I have had before” and “I don’t see what the big fuss is about.”
Then, as I began reading about building a home wine cellar, I learned that you’re not supposed to drink vintage champagnes (ones that have years on them) right away – they need to age before you can experience the evolved flavors. Non-vintages are available and recommended for drinking right away, and are a much better choice if you are planning to enjoy it soon.
The same thing goes for marketing and business development at your credit union. There are “non-vintage” approaches that garner quick and easy results for your credit union, such as rate-driven loan and savings campaigns, membership drives, and incentives. But to have lasting effects on your credit union’s growth initiatives for membership, assets and loans, it is important to also include the “vintage” activities, like business/SEG development, community involvement, and financial literacy.
The business equivalent to properly aging a vintage Dom Perignon would be your credit union’s culture. A great culture takes continuous, deliberate care in order to see the results much farther into the future. Vintage tactics involve ensuring your credit union’s brand values are well-defined and communicated, where campaigns and product-related marketing pieces are less about rate and more about sharing why and how your credit union is different.
What makes your credit union’s marketing age-worthy? Your members are your credit union vintage’s best asset. When you focus on them, their needs and their stories, your credit union’s marketing becomes much more robust and different from the competition.
What I have learned from this new hobby can absolutely be applied to credit union marketing and strategic planning: it’s important to have a good mix of non-vintage and vintages as well as different years of vintages so something worth waiting for is always drinkable and ready to enjoy.