SAN FRANCISCO-It's no secret that for any credit union to grow in 2013 it is necessary to market to a younger demographic. Similarly, it's no secret that means investing in technology and other delivery channels, especially mobile. But that's not enough.

Both those factors are simply "table stakes" at this point, noted Scott Pitts, SVP of alliances & strategy at Andera, a provider of online account-opening services for FIs. "You've got to do those things. But in order to get people walking through the door, that's a very different challenge."

Pitts pointed out that young consumers have gone through a different education process than previous generations, including "how they've dealt with their money and their lives when they're still living with their parents. They're working in much more varied scenarios than the generation that makes up the bulk of credit union membership now."

So credit unions can't just build their messaging around the theme of "banking by a different name." Part of the problem, said Pitts, lies in branding.

"When we interview young people, most of them don't work in companies that have a strong credit union affiliation, which is where maybe a lot of the last generation got into credit unions," said Pitts. "So the term 'union' just means something different to those folks, to the next generation."

Pitts said that one strategy that has worked well in the Bay area is to market the solution rather than the institution.

"Instead of branding heavily on the credit union itself, they're getting the message across of 'We can serve your need for a specific purpose.'"

Marketing the brand, he said, may be a lost cause for this generation. "What they're looking for is 'How do you solve my problem?'"

For info: www.andera.com.

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