What's Hot & What's Not In Financial Services Now

Welcome to the new world of financial services. Frugal is in. Accumulation is out. Conservation-in. Frivolous-out. Return to values-yes. Return of employment-no.

A recent research study reports more than 95% consumers believe that, "Post-recession, we have to do things differently and not return to our old ways." Another survey: More than 99% of survey respondents say they plan to live within their means and save more. Ninety-nine percent!

Attitudes are changing. Paradigms are shifting. Member's needs and wants are transforming. Yesterday's planning...is well, yesterday's news.

What, then, is your credit union doing differently to connect with-and understand - the changed member? What are the new drivers (and sources) of your members' borrowing? What new services will drive member engagement and CU profitability into the future? And where can your CU be most relevant in serving your un- or under-employed members today?

Andy Grove, the outrageously successful former CEO of Intel, attributed his success to one thing: constant paranoia. His ongoing fear that the consumer would change, that the competition would re-invent, and that the market would shift...motivated him to stay ahead of the pack.

His perpetual state of fear drove him to make Intel the leading, research-driven market leader it remains today.

There is power in paranoia. And lessons from Andy Grove for all of us in credit union land today. As the movie tagline states: "Be afraid. Be very afraid."

But use that fear to learn and then adapt.

For if you don't do research, if you don't adapt...if you fail to invest in understanding today's new member...you may not have anything left to fear, or manage, or run. If you don't put yourself in a position to manage change, then change may manage you. And your members will find their needs can be met elsewhere.

Mike Anstead is SVP with Member Research, a national CU market research firm. He can be reached at (949) 833-6901 or by email at manstead@memberresearch.com.e_SIht