very few weeks a credit union that I've done some business with the past few years sends me a mailer or two. The message is almost always the same: Get Your Home Loan Through ABCDEFG Credit Union! Refinance Your Home Loan Through ABCDEFG Credit Union!
The photo on the mailer is always of a smiling family, posing in front of their lovely McMansion as a dog frolics in their begonias in the background. hey look darn happy.
Meanwhile, I still live in a two bedroom apartment. And I'll probably be there for the foreseeable future.
The biggest issue with this mailer (though I appreciate that ABCDEFG CU believes I am responsible enough to have a wife and a dog) is that much like other members of Gen Y, this isn't my reality.
Can you blame me? I've spent the majority of my adult life surrounded by financial instability and chaos - namely the Great Recession of the 2000s.
I've seen jobs come and go, and I've seen how much more that issue is compounded when there's a house note mixed in. Don't even get me started on the ramifications of extending my daily commute would have on my gas budget.
The economic hammer has fallen especially hard on 20somethings — part of the so-called Millennial Generation or Gen Y born roughly between 1975 and 1995. Plagued by high unemployment, many have had to delay careers, marriage and having children. And the idea of owning a home is more often being put off or written off entirely. In a nation where homeownership is part of the American dream, a generation of renters could alter communities where they live and redefine the idea of middle-class success.
Obviously I'm not saying that all home-buying information should cease to be sent out to members. However, there's a lot to be said about tailoring a message that fits your members.
Does your credit union's messaging reflect the realities of your members? Let us know in the comment section below!
DeAndre Upshaw is a former Young & Free Texas Spokester. He's a marketing professional living in Dallas and a Beyonce enthusiast. DeAndre is the host and executive producer of The State of Awesome. Follow him on Twitter and check out his personal website.