Any credit union marketer will tell you – one of the phrases that always makes us cringe is “Members need to know about this.”

It’s hard not to reply with answers like, “I spent $10,000 last year trying to tell them about it.” Or “No, printing one more brochure is not going to get the word out.” But alas, a good marketer’s role is to smile and say, “You are absolutely right.”

What’s a marketer to do? I’m not sure. But I have compiled the top ten things that I think members do need to know about. Here they are:

1. We do mortgages We don’t just do mortgages; we do them really, really well. In every way you can measure good, we do good. We have well-seasoned employees who work like crazy. We don’t sell the servicing so your mortgage never gets handed over to someone else. We get great reviews from almost everyone who has ever gotten a mortgage with us.

2. We have investment advisors. They operate through a broker dealer (so the accounts with them are not NCUA insured and may lose value). They are employees of the credit union, here to help you plan your investment portfolio. You can buy stocks and bonds and mutual funds and life insurance and all sorts of stuff through them – right at the Verity branch.

3. You can use a Shared Branching branch. It’s a strange concept, but you can go to any participating credit union and do your Verity transactions in their branch. To find a shared branching location near you, go here.

4. You can get Verity financing at an auto dealer: We have arrangements with almost all dealers in the area to give credit union financing right at the dealership. The days of needing to be pre-approved to get good credit union rates are gone. We’ve made it much easier through this silly named program – CUDL.

5. We have ID Theft Recovery Service on all checking accounts It’s free on all checking accounts. It’s super helpful if you have someone steal your information. Also, you can upgrade to a monitoring service that includes some insurance payouts if you are a victim of fraud.

6. Our Board of Directors is comprised of volunteers That means they don’t own stock and so their decisions are based on the good of the membership, not the good of their pocketbooks, but more importantly, YOU could run for a board seat.

7. Our Passport Platinum VISA gets you a second meal free at tons of nice restaurants.

8. We offer Mechanical Breakdown Insurance and Gap Insurance on autos MBI extends your warranty and Gap protects you if total your car and you owe more than the car is worth.

9. We just hired three financial counselors They can help you set up a budget and negotiate lower payments to your creditors. If you are in a financial bind, call to make an appointment at 206-315-6720.

10. We are frugal folks: You may have read about financial industry CEO’s spending a crazy amount of money on office furniture and rugs and generally spending TARP money in questionable ways. Even though credit unions didn’t get any bail out money, we are still reacting to the current economic conditions in ways that are in line with how we always do business. We have cut back considerably. There is no travel allowed this year. We have cancelled our 2009 holiday party. We are thinking twice before filling any open positions. And I guarantee, nobody’s making the extravagant salaries that you are reading about lately.

Shari Storm

No biography available.

3 Responses

  1. Winter Prosapio says:

    I really like #10 – I don’t think we point out our frugal nature enough and it’s something members should know!

  2. David says:

    I agree – members need to know about what they need, and what you do best.

    I am concerned about this phrase: “if you are a victim of fraud”. Individuals are rarely defrauded. It is usually banks, phone companies, online stores …, who are defrauded of cash and services with a stolen identity.

    So I have been wondering for a while if there are better phrases than “victim of fraud” and “identity theft”. Maybe marketers use these emotive and personal white lies because although the crime isn’t committed against the individual, they certainly suffer a lot of pain, and can help the banks, credit unions and so on to reduce the threat.

    • shari storm says:

      @David – You bring up a good point. I sometimes wonder how much consumers truly care about fraud because in the long run, they are out so little money. Granted, the pain and hardship is there, but rarely do consumers ever pay anything in fraud cases.

      I don’t use that term because I’m trying to get consumers to feel a certain way. I only use the term because I don’t know of a different one.

      Thanks for the comment.

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