My team of designers and developers have helped hundreds of credit union clients put a fresh coat of paint on their number one sales and marketing tool: their website. For some this is just a couple tweaks and for others we’re throwing it away and starting all over. Either way, my team is prepared to help the credit union make their website a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Just kidding. Credit union websites are largely the same, but nobody wants to hear that. The reality is that the majority of the wants and needs expressed to my team are the same for every credit union, but that doesn’t mean that the remaining elements cannot set that credit union apart. These differences are completely dependent on the credit union’s effort—we cannot do it for them.
Now you might say “I’ve seen a lot of credit union websites and they don’t all look the same” and you’re right, but that is because you’re counting sites that are old and out of date or they have sacrificed design and usability to try and be different. There is a sweet spot for credit union websites and when you look at a bunch of them, like I do, you’ll begin to recognize the commonality in modern sites.
Every year I attend one of the largest financial marketing conferences in the world, and the highlight for me is attending the session where a financial institution’s website has gone through a makeover and it is being revealed to the industry. The makeover is typically being done by a New York or San Francisco firm who has an entire team of employees on stage lavishing praise on the ingenuity and innovation of the project. They make some great points. However, the big takeaway for my team is that when they finally pull back the curtain, the new website looks just like the sites my team builds for our clients.
And what did this large financial institution pay for their makeover? Probably north of $100,000. What do our clients pay? $3,500. So why is there such an extreme price difference? For starters, my team is intentionally skipping the glitz and glam portion of the routine. We’ve found our niche, and what we deliver is an attractive product that gets us out of the way and puts the credit union in the driver’s seat – where they can deliver their message.
Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater
My team frequently hears from credit unions who feel their existing sites are so old and broken that they need to throw everything away and start over. This is almost never necessary. Sure, they might need to throw away some pieces, but it is always better to start from the established foundation of the existing site.
Our clients know their audience better than anyone, and no amount of effort from my team will outperform their understanding. What my team can do, is navigate the process of blending modern website navigation, actions, layout, and more to the client’s message. The outcome is a satisfying blend of familiarity and freshness. An outcome that is always worth the effort – an outcome that made the credit union better for their members and allowed my team to gain more knowledge to share with the next credit union we get to help.