Does your credit union have an iPod in its arsenal?

There are two seemingly unrelated things that I am obsessed with—credit unions and Apple. If you have been reading this blog, you probably already know these factoids about me. Here is a post that I made in March on why credit unions and Macs are so similar.

So, here is another attempt to mix my two favourite subjects. As the title reads, "Does your credit union have an iPod in its arsenal?"

And by that, I mean does your credit union have something so special, so desirable, that people are inexplicably drawn to it? Something that sparks interest on both an emotional and a logical basis? An "I got to have that now" somethingeruther? A Trojan horse that opens the door to untold share of wallet? An actual profitable product or service that is not a lost leader, but is a bonified draw to the credit union.

If you answered "yes," I applaud your credit union. If you answered "no", I applaud your honesty. And honestly, I haven't seen too many credit unions with an iPod in their back pocket.

Credit unions spend a lot of time playing catch up with the banks. This is kind of like Microsoft and its ill-fated Zune media player introduced five years too late to take on the 100 million-selling iPod. We need to stop concentrating on adding products and services that make our credit unions only just as good as banks. Let's look at real innovation that leaps ahead. Or better yet, leaps sideways into unchartered territory. 

A lot has been said about Apple's founder and CEO, Steve Jobs. Love him or hate him, he has reinvented Apple and piloted the corporation in its meteoric rise to new heights. Since returning as CEO to a rudderless Apple a decade ago, Steve has focused Apple on innovation, usability, design and product excellence. And with revolutionary products like the iPod and the iMac, Apple is achieving mainstream success and still keeping its street cred with hardcore users (wow, do I ever sound like a fanboy). This is the carrot that Apple has been in search of for the past 30 years in this Microsoft-dominated world.

Ironically, as I write this, my wife is watching Oprah's Favourite Summer Things show (no comments please) and the first thing Oprah gave to the crowd was a new pink iPod Nano. The crowd is just screaming at the top of their lungs.

Now, if only we could make credit unions this cool!


Vote 4 Tim Update. Things have really heated up in my campaign to secure a speaking gig at the Forum Solutions/Trabian Partnership Symposium. Since my last campaign post, I have become an unwitting Web celeb. My Youtube video audition was featured on Open Source CU and a fan video, produced by Denise Wymore, has appeared as a link on Doug True's blog. However, the judges still haven't made their final decision. Let's not give up the charge! I can almost taste it. I can't take the sleepless nights. And trust me, I am not good enough to resort to juggling chainsaws!

CUETS to be acquired by MBNA (a.k.a. Bank of America). Is this good for the credit union movement?

America, the land of infinite choice. Boy, does it ever make it hard to stand out!