June 21, 2019

Garis tells CUs to 'revolt against routine'

Keynote speaker Dustin Garis stressed the importance of experiences over "stuff" as he offered ways for credit unions to innovate and strengthen their brand. (Photo by Adrienne Battistella)

Marketing and innovation guru Dustin Garis shared ways credit unions can strengthen their brand during Thursday's keynote session at NAFCU's Annual Conference and Solutions Expo in New Orleans. A clear theme of Thursday's sessions was better engaging members through new approaches and technologies.

Garis, known as the "Indiana Jones of Marketing" because of his non-traditional approach to innovation, talked about the importance of experiences over "stuff" in today's society. He is part of a movement, LifeProfit, that encourages people to "revolt against the routine" and do something different – even if it's as small as taking a different route to work or ordering something new at a favorite restaurant.

Attendees also reviewed case studies of some of the most innovative brands that are embracing the experience revolution and left Garis' keynote with strategies to keep members and employees engaged with their credit union brand.

Ahead of Garis' keynote, Rahm McDaniel of Q2 Open told the Annual Conference crowd that convenience is among the most important factors to consumers today. Among the fintech companies that are doing well building their consumer base because of convenience, McDaniel highlighted Qapital – an app that helps users save – and argued that credit unions could be strong competitors in this space because of the interest rates they could offer on the savings accounts.

Other sessions offered Thursday to help credit unions bolster member engagement included:

  • Day in the Life of a Cardholder: Worldpay's Melissa Kopp doubled-down on the importance of convenience, highlighting a number of mobile apps that allow consumers to pay for things easier and build rewards. She posed questions for credit unions to consider as they look to strengthen their member relationships.
  • Listen by Design: Pete Jentz from Securian Financial encouraged credit unions to develop products based on what members want and offered ways to get their feedback. He offered situations to help think through the process of developing a product for certain segments.
  • Driving Non-Interest Income with Digital Engagement: Jeff Chesky from Insuritas explored how credit unions can use data and analytics to create more targeted and personalized member offers. With this information and strategy, credit unions can then create personalized landing pages to drive members to certain products and services.
  • Tech Trends Shaping Credit Unions: With only room for standing, David Faleski from Coastal Credit Union revealed the tech trends that are impacting credit unions. He explained different types of data, new tools and more during the breakout session.
  • Securing Partners for Digital Disruption: LendKey's Christian Widhalm looked at how fintechs are disrupting various industries and how credit unions can work with them to improve their products and services. Widhalm offered pros and cons of different partnerships, legal concerns and ways to mitigate risk.

NAFCU's Annual Conference and Solutions Expo, sponsored by Mastercard, concludes today. For up-to-date coverage of the conference, follow #NAFCUAnnual on Twitter.

Next year's event is scheduled June 23-26 in Vancouver; register now and save $200 with code VANCOUVER. Code expires July 19.