Thing 6 of 30: Make membership mean something

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

Thing 6: make membership mean something

You have to be a member to shop at Costco. Costco members happily fork over their annual membership fee because they are rewarded with great prices, huge selection and discounts on gas, eyeglasses and 50-gallon jugs of mayonnaise. In essence, Costco has made membership meaningful.

You have to be a member to deal with a credit union but credit union membership is nebulous—instead of creating a club feeling, it acts as a barrier to entry. What if you could make membership more meaningful by offering exclusive discounts at local merchants? How about striking deals with a local gas station, a local grocery store, a local theater or the local university to offer discounts on game tickets? You may even have business members that would love to work with your credit union.


Texas-based credit union, TDECU, has done just that. TDECU has struck a deal with Buc-ee's, a local gas station and convenience store chain to offer a 30-cent-per-gallon discount on gas! Not only will that drive new membership growth, it will also strengthen existing member relationships.

Now that's what I call member privileges!


Thing 7 of 30: Ask for your members' e-mail addresses

Thing 5 of 30: Thank your members (often)