Article Archive

Most Recent Articles

Random Thoughts From Ad:Tech

Thought I’d share some of the stuff that went through my head (and in one case, out my mouth) during my trip to NY for the Ad:Tech conference. ———————————————————————————————————————— [On the subway to the hotel] “New Yorkers are freaking amazing. How the hell can they sleep on the subway, and wake up just in time […]

More

The Credit Union Halo Effect

I had a conversation recently with some really smart people working in the credit union space. It was their opinion that, from a technology standpoint, credit unions were lagging banks. My take: I’m not so sure credit union members would agree. Research done by a couple of the leading analyst firms challenges my friends’ opinion […]

More

Updated Bank Ad Slogans For 2008

As we approach 2008, I thought it was high time that some financial firms updated their ad slogans. Here are my suggestions: Other suggestions welcome. (Click here for the source of the original slogans)

More

Affinity-Based Banking

Tim McAlpine recently blogged about affinity positioning for credit unions, advocating for CUs to define their field of membership around affinities like, among others, women, golfers, blogger, and Emos (my favorite — I can’t help but imagine how pitiful waiting in line at a branch at that CU would be.) This concept shouldn’t be limited […]

More

Looks Like Word Of Mouth Could Use A Shot Of Collagen

I promised myself that I would lay low on anti-Net Promoter Score posts. But promises are made to be broken, right? A recent Forrester report titled Demystifying The WOM Consumer (pw req’d) is to blame for my broken promise. According to a survey it did of 5,000 US households, Forrester found that nearly half of […]

More

Trust Is A Two-Way Street

If he wasn’t the first to coin the term trust-based marketing, then Glen Urban of MIT was certainly one of the first to write about it and help marketers understand the importance of trust in a customer relationship. Today, financial firms are embracing this concept — it seems like just about every FI exhorts consumers […]

More

Bank Branches: Big, Expensive Security Blankets

In response to my NetBank post (and to John Dawson’s comment), Chris Whalen commented: “The issue with Netbank is the cost of customer acquisition. Branches acquire customers. Neither of you addresses the high cost of advertising, marketing etc needed to replace the customer acquisition function of branches in an Internet model.” Mr. Whalen and I […]

More

GE FCU evolves name to ‘General Electric Evendale Employees FCU’

No explanation was offered for this slight evolution from GE Federal Credit Union. But in CEO Patrick L. Taylor said in the credit union’s newsletter, “We feel it is necessary to ‘refresh’ and enhance our image as a leader among credit unions. It appears the name change was only a small part of an overall […]

More

How Do YOU Measure Customer Lifetime Value?

In the October 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review, an article titled How Valuable Is Word Of Mouth discusses the distinction between customers’ lifetime value and referral value. The article say this about CLV: Estimating a CLV is relatively straightforward. The value to FirmCo of all that Mary will ever buy equals the amount that […]

More

Indiana CU shortens its name to ‘Pro Fed’

Indiana state law requires members approve credit union name changes by a 75 percent margin, but a vote was probably not required when Professional Federal Credit Union shortened its name to ‘Pro Fed.’

More

Minnesota bank becomes ‘Prosperan’

From the bank’s website: “Prosperan is a form of the word ‘prosper.’ It means to be successful or fortunate, especially in financial respects, to thrive and flourish. In Spanish it means, ‘all of us prosper.’ It communicates prosperity, growth and security and has an open meaning that allows it to be equally effective, engaging and […]

More

Is The Internet-Only Bank A Viable Model?

In an editorial in American Banker titled NetBank Failure Kills One Web Bank Model (pw req’d), Christopher Whalen wrote: [NetBank] was dying — but it wasn’t dying from bad loans. An irrational growth strategy, supported by $1.2 billion in FHLB advances at the end of 2005, as actually killing it. Assets grew [from 2001 to […]

More

The Harsh Truth About Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Three business professors did a formal experiment after reading an article about Net Promoter Scores (NPS). They did two separate studies: one involving 9,900 customers of a telecom company, and another involving 6,700 customers of a financial institution. Their conclusions were published in the Harvard Business Review (“How Valuable Is Word of Mouth?” October 2007). […]

More

Two banks merge, change names to ‘Avidia’

Two New Jersey banks merge assets over $1 billion and become ‘Avidia.’ The bank says the name is a combination of the words “avid” and “idea.” It may not look like it means anything, but at least it doesn’t look like it will get them in trademark trouble.

More

A St8ment On Patelco's Gr8 R8s

Patelco CU announced a new savings rate promotion: 8% APY on balances up to $1000 for their members up to the age of 21. The CU blogosphere was all atwitter with talk of how this will teach today’s youth about thrift and build loyal, long-term members. I’m skeptical, however. I can’t help but wonder: How […]

More

Canadian Credit Union Will Be ‘First’

Powell River Credit Union in Canada announces it is becoming First Credit Union in this press release. The release says that a new name was needed to overcome consumer confusion. Dave Craigen, CEO of the newly minted First Credit Union, says: “The name ‘First Credit Union’ was an easy and logical choice…It honours the dedicated […]

More

The Killer Tweak

I’ve been trying to work an idea I’ve had for a while now into a blog post, and James Gardner’s post When Small Innovations Are Good finally gave me the launching pad. According to James, not all innovations must be game-changing and industry-disruptive: Do lots of incremental innovation, and you have a large portfolio of […]

More

Credit Unions: Don’t Refer To Members As Owners

The CU Realist, oops, I mean CU Skeptic, recently wrote: One idea mentioned (in this and other posts) is the thought that if credit unions refer to the people that consume their services as “members” or “owners” this will cause people choose credit unions over banks. While I understand both terms are correct references to […]

More

Brunswick Employees to become ‘Port City Credit Union’

Brunswick Employees Federal Credit Union says it will become Port City Federal Credit Union in its monthly newsletter. The name ‘Port City’ is a common reference to the city of Muskegon on the eastern banks of Lake Michigan where the credit union is based. The $20 million credit union says it is changing its name […]

More

Not Another Chief Something Officer

I’ve read the Harvard Business Review for 25 years now, and at no point during that time, has it been as good as it is now under Thomas Stewart’s editorship. The period before his reign produced a spate of annoying “no, no, no — let ME tell you what strategy is” type articles. Seemed like […]

More