How to Highlight the Benefits of Credit Unions vs. Banks

Featuring Candice Nigro, CUDE, CCUFC, VP, Strategic Marketing, The Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA)

Over recent months, Affinity partnered with The Cooperative Credit Union Association (CCUA) to host several “In Your Neighborhood” events in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The events - the brainchild of the CCUA, a trade association for credit unions –  were designed to increase consumer awareness of credit unions. But Affinity turned these events into something so much more. By highlighting local community involvement and outreach, “In Your Neighborhood” events powerfully illustrate the benefits of credit unions vs. banks.

Credit Unions vs. Banks

“In Your Neighborhood” introduces credit unions to their communities by connecting with residents in places they frequent, and treating them to a cup of coffee or a bite to eat. The events were designed to bring attention to credit unions while also staying true to their “people helping people” philosophy. Through these events, employees can meet people within their communities and talk. We have completed many of these events and the response has been positive from the credit unions, business participants and attendees.

Introduction to Affinity’s North Market. Because Affinity recently focused on the members of its newest branches, we were looking for these events to help foster existing relationships while also creating new ones. In new marketplaces, events like this provide the opportunity for credit union staff to tell community members who and where they are in a relaxed environment. It truly shows that the credit union is part of the community, especially when it’s early in the morning. When you are at the community’s favorite deli, I think it brings the credit union to the same level as the individual. In a way, it shows “hey, that place really gets me.”

Working in the credit union industry and an Affinity member. It’s very rare that I get to work with a credit union that I personally use in my current role, so getting the opportunity to work with Affinity was different and cool. I didn’t realize that it would also be very impactful as a member. I was able to glimpse into the inner-workings of a company that I personally do business with and that isn’t an opportunity that everyone gets.

What stands out to me most was that despite each individual being unique and having their own personality, every single person I had the opportunity and pleasure of working with left a strong impression. I couldn’t pinpoint it initially, but then I was waiting in the Affinity lobby and saw a piece of artwork created by the entire team. Every credit union team member had the same values system. They belonged to a community all their own and I was part of it too by being a member. I traveled to three states and met with varying levels of the team, and each one was equally passionate about their overarching mission. I can honestly say that that has never happened to me before in all my years of working with credit unions.

Seeing just how committed the entire Affinity team is and how they lift up and support one another has been great. Everyone has played a role in the success of the “In Your Neighborhood” events and that has been truly inspiring to me. I know that it can’t always be easy to rally the troops around a specific event or project, but it seems that the Affinity team is truly supportive once they get there. Every person that I worked with was truly excited to participate and was fully engaged in what we were trying to accomplish.

I prefer to do my banking digitally whenever possible, so I don’t often visit branches in my personal banking life. Affinity gives me the freedom to do that while also offering me the kind of member experience I want. Working with the Affinity team in my professional life has given me an increased respect for the dedication it takes to ensure that company culture and brand identity flow seamlessly from internal structures to external relationships. I’ll always cherish and remember many of the stories I heard from the Affinity team, both professionally and personally.

What people should know about the benefits of credit unions vs. banks. A bank account is a bank account is a bank account. There really isn’t anything too glamorous about a debit card or a mortgage. Most people don’t realize the structure behind a credit union vs. a bank. But an increasing number of people, especially in the younger generation1, want to do business with companies that do well by doing good, and credit unions fit that description. I think if credit unions told their stories better, highlighted the people on their teams internally and all the things that those individuals do each day for the members and community and focused on utilizing their members’ own stories, more people would understand what makes credit unions better. People are drawn to companies that differentiate in their space; credit unions have been doing that for years without telling anyone.

1 Inc.

This information is for informational purposes only and is intended to provide general guidance and does not constitute legal, tax, or financial advice. Each person’s circumstances are different and may not apply to the specific information provided. You should seek the advice of a financial professional, tax consultant, and/or legal counsel to discuss your specific needs before making any financial or other commitments regarding the matters related to your condition are made.   

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