May 01 2009

Chrome for Young Adults: Franchise Branching for Membership Growth

Report  
Number  
186

 The latest CU Tomorrow brief, Chrome for Young Adults: Franchise Branching for Membership Growth explores a retail delivery concept that uses modern branching to attract this elusive segment.

Ben Rogers
Managing Director, Research
Report Number 186

Executive Summary

Chrome is a credit union retail delivery concept that has been percolating at the Filene Research Institute for several years. It first surfaced as an i3 concept in 2005. As interest in attracting young adults to credit unions continues to grow, the early concept passed to CU Tomorrow for more in-depth treatment.

The niche-focused brand piqued enough interest among i3 participants that additional research was undertaken to assess the concept. Chrome is the young adult version of a potential multipart branding system. The larger vision is to approach the financial services space in the same way a carmaker approaches potential auto buyers or a clothing retailer approaches mall shoppers: segmenting.

What is the research about?

Gen Y is a key market segment for credit unions to reach in this recession. Its members still need loans and, compared with older Americans, fewer are deleveraging. This brief explores Chrome, a retail delivery concept that uses modern branching to attract this elusive segment.

What are the credit union implications?

The Chrome credit union branch is a forward-looking franchise concept that promises a whole new delivery and member-attraction model for credit unions. By signing onto the franchise model and collaborating more deeply than they have in the past, credit unions can compete with national banking brands. Credit unions that can use the Chrome model to get ahead and stay ahead of the turn toward retail-oriented branches stand to grab market share, grow organically, and attract the next generation of loyal members.

This report is sponsored by PSCU Financial Services, the Credit Union Executives Society (CUES), Fiserv, and the Corporate Credit Union Network.