BY ERIC GAGLIANO
What can credit unions and the craft beer and fine wine industries possibly have in common? As it turns out, a lot – in particular a sense of camaraderie rather than bad blood with the competition. Keep reading for key insight into how the craft brewing mindset can fuel your CU’s growth.
Beer Brings People Together
When life’s wandering road brought me from a traditional ad agency to be marketing VP at a credit union, I wasn’t quite ready for the culture shock. I met other CU marketers who shared competitive information: “How did that checking campaign go?” “What group is getting the most car loans for you?” “Have you done anything that works for home equity?”
My mind was blown. These people, all working in the same industry in the same damn town, were sharing vital information. In the ad agency world, this was treason! I would have my tongue ripped out by the root and my lips sewn together if I had shared this kind of intel. I now understand it’s what makes credit unions special.
There are similar stories in the craft beer world. The following is a direct excerpt from a September 2015 Entrepreneur.com article, “Don’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em: Why Brewing Together Works Better in the Craft Beer Industry,” written by Corie Brown.
“When Adam Avery of Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, Colo., and Vinnie Cilurzo, owner of Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, Calif., discovered they both produced a beer called Salvation, they joined forces to create one they called Collaboration Not Litigation Ale. Such joint craft beers are common.”
“Collaboration Not Litigation!” It is perfect!
And This Is Why It’s Important to Your Credit Union.
In 2014, craft beer accounted for 11 percent of sales volume and 19.4 percent of dollars in the beer market. That same year, it grew by 22 percent, taking a giant chunk from big brands like Budweiser. Credit unions face a similar market share battle. Right now, the largest 100 banking institutions account for 74.8 percent of the nation’s total banking assets.