Study: Expansion Means Younger Memberships

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The expansion of credit union fields of membership is translating into a younger membership on average, according to one new analysis.

In a survey of 480 CU officials by Newground, respondents indicated their expanded charters have meant being more aggressive in seeking high school and college students as members. Newground said updated branches featuring technology and more sales-oriented personnel also appeal to younger members.

"More young people than ever before are taking 'Credit Union 101' this year," said Charlene Stern chief experience office with Newground, which offers design/build and branding services.

Among the other findings of the survey:

* 26% said they had outgrown their name.

* 38% said they were being forced to change their name.

* 18% said they had created "lots of innovation" for their members.

* 35% said they had moved to "high technology" at their credit union.

* 68% said they expect their member service reps to deliver "memorable experiences" above just basic service.

* 78% said they are in the business of "building emotional loyalty."

* 37% said the "changing marketplace" is their biggest organizational challenge.

* 21% said lack of "creative thinking" was their biggest challenge.

* 10% said "lack of ambition" was their biggest challenge.

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