I have a real name ;)

These last few days have worn me out, but I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who made the Reveal at the Partnership Symposium be a truly great experience.

In case you missed it, you can find it here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/757734

I’ll have the slides up (with sources) by Monday morning!

Thanks again, and don’t worry, this isn’t the end. I’m just getting started.


6 comments so far

  1. Morriss Partee on

    Hey *Mark*,

    That was a stellar video today, and an excellent presentation. As I said before your reveal, I for one, value your skeptic voice in the CU world. Great job holding our collective feet to the fire to create real and meaningful differentiation.

    Very much looking forward to hearing what you have in store as CU Skeptic version 2.0.

  2. chadgramling on

    Hi Mark. Guess I should have beleived you when I gave you a ride back to the hotel when you said, “You shoudl knopw me, I’m Internet famous.” I should have been able to connect the dots had I truly been thinking about it. Anywho, thanks for keeping it real. 🙂

  3. Gene Blishen on

    Remember that discussion about what you are going to do at your local credit union. Board, elections? You have no excuses and it is because of people like you credit unions will continue to have meaning to their members.
    Thank you Mark. For me you are a breath of fresh air!

  4. Chuck Van Court on

    I do not buy into your assetions that credit unions need to look different than banks by way of products and service.

    In fact, it would be a positive step if more credit unions could just get more people to think of them as offering all the same stuff a bank has to offer. All too often, people think that credit unions are only good for car loans and checking accounts from a very limited number of branch locations. Just getting the masses to view more credit unions as peers with respected regional and local banks would be a good first step.

    The fundamental difference underlying how banks and credit unions operate can largely be attributed to the difference in ownership structures and quarterly revenue expectations. Of course each credit union needs to individually differentiate themselves with pricing, service and product, but most people understand quite well just how much the underlying expectations on bank staff and credit union staff can and will have a significant impact on how they are treated. National branding that asserts these underlying motivations and calls out the broad branch sharing networks will get consumers in the door or to the Web site and it’s then up to the credit union to demonstrate how their individual brand is different than any relevant competitor, which includes banks and other credit unions.

    I also have to say that way too many credit unions like to think that merely being a credit union causes them to inherently have the best interest of the consumer in mind. Not true. This is where I agree with you that the charter in itself is meaningless.

    It’s time for credit unions to step up and start defining their brand in aggregate on a national level while defining and demonstrating their individual brand on a local level.

    Is anyone satisfied with what “credit union” inherently means to most? Should all credit unions be responsible for defining the “credit union” brand and for educating people on the breadth of the available branch networks? Will anything ever change?

    My comments are from the perspective of a loyal member of 1st Tech credit union who strongly supports what some credit unions are and what other credit unions could and should be.

  5. CU Skeptic on

    @Morris, @Chad, @Gene – Thanks for the kind words as always

    @Chuck – Thanks for the well articulated thought. There are pieces of what you are saying that I agree with, but some I am just not on board with.

    I’m working on full articles on a couple of the thoughts, but as a teaser:

    I think your thoughts on how to convey the CU difference is right to focus on the efforts on individual credit unions.

    I disagree that “getting the masses to view more credit unions as peers with respected regional and local banks would be a good first step.”

    Also, I have to ask, what is “the fundamental difference underlying how banks and credit unions operate”? What is it about the operational side of credit unions that is so different?

    (I see similar buildings, products, websites, technology…no real operational differences.)

  6. Chuck Van Court on

    Hey Mark:

    I was referring to how the quarterly income accountabilities to bank shareholders fundamentally impacts how banks are operated and staff are in-turn compensated and motivated. There is inherently more pressure to optimize fees and spreads and get people into products that optimize the banks returns without real consideration or even understanding for individual needs or ability to pay. Can we say prime loans!

    The co-op nature of credit unions is something that many would rally around if they understood these underlying differences and could connect the dots on the inherent impact. Selling the broad branch networks and breadth of products and services would cause more consumers to evaluate their local credit unions.

    In any case, I am glad to see a young guy like yourself caring enough to take time to try to make a difference.

    I am inpatient. I hope you continue to prod the slow moving and never become complacent on what might be.

    Whatever you do, do not lose your edge.


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