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Filene's Chair Breakfast at GAC: Center of Excellence for The Next Generation of Membership Growth Announced

Filene announced the newest research focus at its annual Chair Breakfast at GAC on March 4, 2024. The Center for The Next Generation of Membership Growth augments and expands credit unions’ capabilities to develop and implement strategies to remain relevant and grow sustainably.

Filene gathered more than 650 credit union leaders during GAC 2024 for its annual Chair Breakfast. As a means of giving thanks to Filene's membership, inner circle partners and key strategic contributors, Filene presents an expert to share insights on the most vital information for credit unions to focus on next.

This year, keynote speaker Kim Lear, founder of Inlay Insights, brought eye-opening information about generational messaging, motivations and viewpoints. Through empathy and understanding what drives discrepancies between what people say and what people do, credit unions can reassess their marketing, products, offerings and partnerships to engage younger consumers and win over the next generation.

Thriving in an everything everywhere all at once world

During the event, CEO Mark Meyer announced Filene's new Center of Excellence for The Next Generation of Membership Growth as a tangible way for credit unions to turn insights into action and implement strategies that will advance their efforts to grow market share.

As credit unions seek sustainable growth, understanding and engaging younger consumers is crucial. Millennials and Gen Zers represent a significant demographic, and their preferences and expectations differ from previous generations. Credit unions are grappling with an aging consumer base, evolving consumer expectations and rapid pace of technological advancements. 

How do credit unions navigate effectively? They will need to reassess their marketing, products, offerings and partnerships to succeed. Filene's new Center will identify strategies including internal and external practices to attract, engage and retain the next generation of consumers.

That feeling credit union executives are having this year can be described as executing in an 'everything, everywhere all at once world.' They must take the strategies they’ve built; the investments they’ve made in people, processes, technologies; the insights they’ve learned–and operationalize everything at once to gain value and grow.
Mark Meyer
CEO
Filene Research Institute

Credit unions face an environment marked by relentless change, information overload, and the need to speed decision-making. Focus allows credit unions to prioritize, optimize, and navigate.

The faster credit unions can understand members, the faster credit unions can focus resources on what matters most. And the faster credit unions can confidently act, even in the face of uncertainty, the more efficient and productive they can be.

This is exactly what the Center for The Next Generation of Membership Growth will do by helping credit unions optimize their efforts.

About the Center for The Next Generation of Membership Growth

Filene's Center for The Next Generation of Membership Growth is the answer for supporting executives in this environment where it is nearly impossible to know which strategy to prioritize first by helping them unlock more value, speed time to insights, and speed time to action.

The goal of this three-year project is to support credit unions' ability to evolve capabilities and capacities to remain relevant and grow sustainably. Specific projects will be designed in collaboration with an advisory research and incubation council and dedicated research fellow. The work of this Center will:

  • Examine engagement strategies and platforms to understand how to successfully identify emerging capabilities in both physical and digital channels to reach and convert Millennials and Gen Zers into members.
  • Identify how products and services will need to evolve and what investments are necessary to meet the financial needs and build trust with the most diverse, multi-ethnic consumer base in history.
  • Investigate what promising growth opportunities exist that can simultaneously protect credit unions against fintech incumbents while driving revenue and membership growth.
  • Explore key infrastructure requirements to enable personalization of offers and optimization of the member experience to drive higher relevancy and conversion.
  • Test marketing strategies and tactics to identify which approaches strengthen brand identity, reinforce value proposition, build loyalty and establish clear points of market differentiation.

Thank you to our first sponsors!

Filene announced Christian Financial Credit Union as the first organization to sponsor the Center for The Next Generation of Membership Growth. CEO Patty Campbell shared why this research topic is so essential to the future sustainability of not only her credit union but the entire industry and why she wanted to be first to support this work. 

Following the event, Filene was contacted by many more credit unions sharing the sentiment that this work is crucial and that because there is a general lack of new information on this topic from a 'business to generation' perspective, they are also raising their hands to ensure that this work exists for the credit union industry.

Be Part of Filene's Inner Circle

Filene’s Centers of Excellence tackle the big, bold and very real issues to help you think forward and change lives. As a sponsor and Filene Champion, you get the inner circle access to Filene research, communities, events and innovation impact. Let us know your interest and we will be in touch shortly!

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