Thing 13 of 30: Drop products and services that members don't want

September is 30 things I would implement or consider implementing at my credit union if I was a credit union leader.

Thing 13: Drop products and services that members don't want

Ever been to a restaurant with a seemingly unending menu? Pages and pages of choices with nothing that really stands out? It feels like the menu has never been edited. I much prefer a simple menu with a handful of awesome choices. I think financial institution clients do to. Think ING Direct.

I think credit union menus tend to grow and grow in an effort to keep up with banks and other competitors. If I were a credit union leader, I would review every product and service. If we had six different checking accounts, I would want to know why. I would edit and edit until we were left with only the essentials. This would require us to define our brand and figure out who our core members are and what they really want and need.

Vancity recently edited its services in two very big ways. The leadership team looked at the insurance division and realized that only a small percentage of its credit union members were buying insurance from Vancity. After careful consideration, Vancity sold its Insurance division to the Cooperators. Vancity also looked at its cross-Canada virtual offering, Citizen's Bank, and realized that the Canadian marketplace no longer had room for an entirely online bank and decided to go in a new direction.

Editing is not easy. Especially when your organization has been around for half a century or more. It's hard. It's painful. But ultimately, it's necessary and it's good.


P.S. I know, I know. There are a lot of Vancity examples in my 30 things blog series. Forgive me, Vancity just does a lot of things really well.

Thing 14 of 30: Ban acronyms from our brand names

Thing 12 of 30: Replace our ten-year-old, super-nasty website