MADISON, Wis.-CUNA Mutual Group has launched a significant direct-to-consumer campaign aimed at raising awareness of the consumer brand "TruStage."

The TruStage brand is already being offered to members of more than 4,000 credit unions, but marketing has been through the credit unions themselves.

CUNA Mutual said TruStage will reach consumers via a more engaging marketing experience, including a new website co-branded with credit unions at The web connection is one component of a long-term CUNA Mutual Group strategy to help credit unions deepen member relationships and grow non-interest income by providing much needed member insurance and investment products.

"This is a significant multi-year investment for us," said Susan Sachatello, SVP, direct-to-consumer. "It's not just a marketing launch or a facelift for the business. Across the next three years you will see us invest more than $200 million in the direct-to-consumer business."


Channels To Expand

The new effort will first quickly expand into digital media, leveraging CU touch points and cross-product connections within CUNA Mutual, said Sachatello. "Second, we will optimize our channels. Today we have our call center and face-to-face with our agent population. But we are really investing in our website to expand that media, both via the traditional site and one optimized for mobile devices."

The TruStage brand is initially built around the core product offerings aimed at consumer protection needs - life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, and auto and home insurance, as well as annuities.

"Finally, we are extending products across a wider range of consumer needs so that the consumer feels like at any step in their life or at any point I time we have the right products and services to serve their financial needs."

Sachatello cited data from LIMRA that found half of all American households say they need more life insurance and three-in-10 households are uninsured. The TruStage consumer brand debut follows two years of research focused on understanding credit union members' behaviors and needs.

While the emphasis is on addressing an area of significant need for members, Sachatello said TruStage also will add to credit unions' bottom lines through non-interest income. Today, CUNA Mutual Group says it contributes approximately $280 million in non-interest income to credit unions annually. Through the TruStage brand, the company expects to increase non-interest income for partner credit unions by an additional $30 million within four years.


'One of the Pillars'

Sachatello pointed out that CUNA Mutual has spent a great deal of time engaging with its CU partners to craft the roadmap for TruStage.

"But it's important to remember that TruStage is just one of the pillars of the current commitment that CUNA Mutual has to credit unions and their members. We look at this business through a simple lens: If what we do is good for the member and good for the credit union it will be good for CUNA Mutual."

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