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Two words: Instant. Gratification.

Last week-end I was catching up with all the Hollywood gossip in People magazine and read a review of Jonathan Franzen’s latest book. I love him. Pulled out my Kindle and bam. Owned it.

Earlier this week I posted on the CUCallCenter blog the ROI on a social media journey. We posted this video, and sat back and watched the hits like it was, well television. Instant feedback.

Just now my niece texted me (during breakfast) that Netflix dances on Blockbuster’s grave with instant viewing of Battlestar Gallactica! Frakking awesome news.

Netflix gets it. When Blockbuster was still making people queue up on a Friday night to get the latest release and penalizing you if you did not drive BACK to the store within 24 hours to return it, the folks at Netflix were beginning to digitize all titles.

As my friend Brent Dixon said at the Credit Union Association of New Mexico’s Annual Meeting this year. Now means now. Not in five minutes or five days. Instant gratification. That’s what Gen Y expects. Is it reasonable? Sure. Better yet, is it possible? Of course.

Consider the primary financial indicator (or so most people think) the checking account. A royal-pain-in-the-you-know-what-to-move. And how have we addressed the issue? A switch kit that looks like a To Do list highlighting what a a royal-pain-in-the-you-know-what-to-move it is. Another glaringly obvious idiocy?  Being told I’ll have to wait 7 to 10 days to receive my Debit card. BUT, I can still get a pad of temporary checks instantly. Gen Y wants it now. Ten days is an eternity. They don’t even know HOW to write a check.

I’m going to go watch the BSG now. Frakking awesome.

So say we all.

This morning Nathan Capron, Marketing Specialist for UniWyo FCU posted the link to the Beloit College Mindset for the Class of 2014 on the CUNA Marketing Council ListServ. Nathan had a great intro to the piece:

“I think I read somewhere that attracting Gen Y was a hot topic for credit unions; has anyone else read that? (he adds that was intended to be sarcastic).

The intended audience are professors at Beloit. It’s to help them create relevant connections in the classroom. Nathan wisely sees the application in our marketing.

If we’re to lower the average age of a member from 48 to 47 (a lofty goal) we need to start thinking like a Beloit College professor.  I give you a glimpse of the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall.

1. Since digital has always been in the cultural DNA, they’ve never written in cursive.

2. With cell phones to tell the time, there is no need for a wrist watch.

3. They will be armed with iPhones and Blackberries, on which making a phone call will be only one of the many many functions they will perform.

4. Email is just too slow and they seldom, if ever use snail mail.

5. Czechoslovakia has never existed.

6. Nirvana is on the classic oldies station.

7. They first met Michelangelo when he was just a computer virus.

Takeaway: If you’re still trying to lure new members with a free box of checks, and no mobile banking application, you’ll likely die of old age.


Got home late last night. House was so quiet I flicked on the TV for company. The Teen Choice Awardswere in full swing. At first it scared the hell out of me because as soon as the set clicked on there was only the sound of about a thousand girls screaming. I mean shrieking. ForJustin Bieber.

I was diving for the remote to change channels when I thought wait a minute….our goal is to youth-a-nize the credit union movement, lest we die of old age. I need to watch this. Relate to it somehow.

And then it happened, OMG that’s Kurt from Glee taking the stage  – I LOVE him! And he seems so relaxed and nice and well, Kurt like.  I decided right then and there that the Teen Choice Awards should be required viewing for anyone in marketing with the task of attracting the teen crowd.

Here are the results of my “study”

I can relate more to teens than I thought possible:

Choice Movie/Drama: The Blind Side (Academy Award winning actress Sandra Bullock)

Choice Actress/Movie: Tina Fey

Choice TV Show/Comedy: Glee

Big fans of all of the above. I have found common ground. Important aspect of the beginning of any relationship.

Things I must find a way to tolerate and embrace:

Choice TV Show/Drama: Gossip Girl (beating out Grey’s Anatomy and House)

Choice TV Actress/Comedy: Selena Gomez of Wizards of Waverly Place(never heard of her or her show – but she beat Lea Michele of Glee – what?)

Choice TV Reality Show: Keeping Up with the Kardashians (but at least it beat Jersey Shore)

Choice Movie/Fantasy: Anything Twilight Zone (which beat out everything Harry Potter)


It’s okay to like some of your teens favs, but don’t like them so much that you are caught carrying around a book, TiVoing it or hanging a poster of he/she in your bedroom. That’s a sure way to kill that teen connection.

Newer is better. They root for the underdog in that sense. When Zoe Saldana beats out Scarlett Johansson, Rachel McAdams, Gwyneth Paltrow and Amanda Peet for choice actress in a Sci-Fi you have to wonder – who the hell is Zoe? You should know. But again, and I can’t emphasize this enough – don’t become a fan of hers on Facebook.

Their tastes are not typical and cannot easily be categorized. Choice music female artist nominees? Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha, Shakira and Taylor Swift. Wow. Now you know what’s on their iPod.

They are the opposite of you in terms of sports. The athletes they choose to admire are from skateboarding (which is not a crime, btw) surfing, tennis and soccer. What? No baseball, football? That’s un-American!

No, that’s being a teen.

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June 2023