Case Study: Bucks First Credit Union — live from Word of Mouth Supergenius

4:40 — Kurt Vanderah introduces Braden Young of Bucks First Credit Union.

4:41 — Braden: We’re a two-branch operation.

4:42 — Braden: We wanted to introduce credit unions to young kids, who mostly just knew what their parents used. So we wanted to create an account built for them. So we asked kids who were already members what they wanted.

4:47 — Braden says they found out that kids received too many fees. They found a way to deduct the fees and also start to educate kids in financial responsibility.

4:48 — Braden also says they rebranded what they had of their site for kids. They knew they were onto something when management didn’t like the site, because it didn’t quite speak to them.

4:49 — Braden: To run Project Flipside, we knew none of us wanted to run it, so we found three kids to run the website. The run the blogs and do YouTube videos. They became our ambassadors.

4:50 — Braden: We didn’t have a lot of budget. The big question we had was how to find kids to blog for a credit union.

4:51 — Braden: We were just a teacher’s credit union so a lot of our marketing was in schools. When we first launched the search, we didn’t want an adult to say “We want you to join us.”

4:52 — Braden talks about how Zach, a young employee, became the face of the search. They then tried to look for two more people to help him.

4:52 — Braden says they created about 100 posters and info packets for counselors and teachers who then went out and sought students they felt would be perfect for the campaign. The teachers and school officials became their cheerleaders, because they saw that Bucks First Credit Union was trying to help kids.

4:53 — Braden: We went directly where our consumers were.

4:54 — Braden: We sold it as an internship, and ambassadors were given a few gadgets to help them blog.

4:55 — Braden: We got about ten applicants from the 15 schools. We narrowed them to five, and this is where WOM came in. We wanted the kids to still advertise the website, and rally for votes. The two kids with the most votes would win the spots. Four of the five had Facebook fan pages. They had close to 800 fans combined and they amassed 1600 votes for all the kids, which we didn’t think we would get.

4:57 — Braden then shows a video that the Flipside crew made.

4:59 — Braden: Kids were responding heavily to the three ambassadors, who are in the community trying to just build an awareness.

5:00 — Braden: We’re finding that kids are just remembering the ambassadors whenever they speak at events. We’re trying not to do the hard sell, because we want them to keep coming back, so when the time comes that their parents want them to start saving and open an account, we’ll be at the top of their mind.

5:01 — Braden: We created a fan page for the Flipside crew, and kids are responding to that.

5:02 — Braden: Somehow we found that a debit card with the Project Flipside logo resonates with kids. They go crazy over it.

5:02 — Braden: The Flipside crew has created close to 50 youtube videos. We don’t try to hold them to what they have to do though sometimes we have to remind them they’re also working for a credit union. Our numbers have been growing since.


Q: Did you measure the amount of Gen Y customers you had before and after?

A: Our average age is 47. We didn’t use the kids we had as a measurement tool, but we’ve tried to work them in.

Q: How did you measure your success after this campaign was over?

A: The campaign isn’t over. We’re doing it every year– we’ll be looking for new kids again. What we realized with the search is that if you’re not hitting kids constantly they’re not going to come. What this turned into is a way to frequently be in their minds.

Q: The other challenge we face is that college students would maybe see a hundred dollars’ incentive in other banks, and they’d just go there. How do you deal with that?

A: I think kids can be brand-loyal. Those deals have fine print, and kids know that. This is why we’re removing fees from them, because this is what they want.

Q: Have you dealt with maybe getting older people poking their noses in and maybe turning off the kids?

A: Like we said, we used Zach as the face of the program. I think parents just realized that they weren’t part of that conversation. We’ve made separate collateral geared towards parents.

Q: How do you incorporate the collateral to facilitate the conversation between parents and kids?

A: We put together a handout for parents whose kids were about to go to college.

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