Here’s how to bring Gen Z into the credit union movement

by | Nov 6, 2020

Zogo spends a lot of time talking about credit unions. We have the opportunity to work with dozens of credit unions across the country, and we think critically about these institutions and the role they can play in young people’s lives almost every day.

And so the question came up one morning, during discussion in our daily team meeting: what do you think it would take to bring more Gen Zers to credit unions? What could be the deciding factor? 

Each member of our small company, from the sales team to the content writers, chimed in with an answer — and they all revolved around a few key discussion points of the finance industry today. 

We’re not a marketing firm, research group or sophisticated polling institute. But we are a group of Gen Zers who believe in the credit union movement — and here are three things we think could get our generation engaged.

1. Seamless, extensive digital and mobile banking options. The growing importance of digital and, more specifically, mobile banking is likely no surprise to the financial industry. And yet, many credit unions across the country do not have fully built-out digital and mobile banking platforms. With the advent of digital natives like Gen Z — and millennials — this will only become more critical as time goes on.

2. More intentional branding. Think of the fun, sleek brands that are most popular among this age group: Google, Nike, Dunkin’, etc. 

The ubiquity of social media and visual imagery will probably place a higher emphasis on brand aesthetics for Gen Z consumers, even for financial institutions (A confession that many of my friends and I have been drawn to companies purely for the visual appeal of their marketing materials). Brand purpose is also very important to younger generations, and my opinion is that it’ll take a combination of both of these marketing elements to hook the attention of Gen Z.

3. A clear commitment to community. Gen Z are looking for companies and organizations that they perceive as socially responsible, a requirement that credit unions fulfill almost inherently. 

But it’s not enough to just be committed to your community. It’s important that institutions communicate this commitment in demonstrable ways. One of our team members brought up the idea of a visual representation of all the ways that membership positively impacts both the credit union and the surrounding community. Where and how does the money flow to benefit members? In what ways does your credit union give back? 

A growing number of Gen Zers want to support institutions that genuinely care for their well-being, that clearly align with their beliefs and that view social responsibility not as an obligation but as a core part of their mission. 

The good news? Credit unions fit the bill. Now it’s time to reach out to the new generation that could define the future of our movement.

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