Are you mak­ing a splash this hol­i­day sea­son?

Credit Union Journal - - Editor’s Note - Lisa Free­man Ed­i­tor in Chief Ed­i­tor in Chief Lisa Free­man can be reached at lisa. free­[email protected]­me­


I re­cently heard a lo­cal dis­count re­tailer be­ing in­ter­viewed about the fact that his store specif­i­cally does not of­fer spe­cial deals on Black Fri­day. His ar­gu­ment: his store of­fers out­stand­ing, low prices ev­ery day, all year long. To of­fer even big­ger dis­counts on Black Fri­day, he said, would re­quire him to raise prices the rest of the year. He would rather of­fer bet­ter ev­ery­day value.

This re­minded me of “The Great Div­i­dend De­bate.” Be­cause it’s also an­nual bonus sea­son. And even as a num­ber of CUS have al­ready re­leased splashy state­ments about how much money they are giv­ing back this year, there are some who would sug­gest that lo­cal dis­count re­tailer I men­tioned has the right idea: fo­cus on ev­ery­day value.

Be­cause, they say, if a CU has ex­cess funds left over at the end of the year that could mean it has been over­charg­ing its mem­bers the whole rest of the year.

But while it may well be im­pos­si­ble for a for-profit re­tailer to slash prices on Black Fri­day with­out rais­ing prices the rest of the year—credit unions pride them­selves on be­ing dif­fer­ent.

More­over, the big splashy mo­ment doesn’t have to be an ac­tual div­i­dend—a num­ber of credit unions have al­ready taken to mak­ing big splashy an­nounce­ments about how much money they’ve saved their mem­bers all year long.

At in­dus­try con­fer­ences, ex­ec­u­tives spend a lot of time talk­ing about the CU dif­fer­ence — but how of­ten are they com­mu­ni­cat­ing that to their mem­bers, most of whom prob­a­bly don’t even know what a credit union is?

This is why it’s not enough to of­fer ev­ery­day value—you’ve also got to have some flash.

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