Credit Union Brand Metrics Part II: Membership Attrition

Samantha Strickland

Nearly every creative consultant, marketing executive, and industry journalist has an opinion about your credit union’s brand. They may even go so far as to say your brand is “good.” But “good is the enemy of great," right? And most advice you’re going to get is based on opinion, not facts. In this 4-part series, we will approach the question about the strength of your brand more pragmatically and review some key data points that you can easily access, track, and measure to determine how well your brand resonates.

Go Back to Part I


Membership Attrition

What is your membership attrition rate? 

If your membership growth is negative or flat each year, HELLO, we have a problem!

And it’s time to examine what the root issues are and ask yourself a few questions.

  • Has the average age of your members increased, decreased, or stayed the same over the past 3-5 years? It sounds harsh, but are members literally dying off? 
  • Is your market over-saturated with financial institutions? In a crowded market, you need to know where your credit union falls in relevance to the community. If you disappeared tomorrow, would anyone REALLY notice?
  • What are you doing to attract younger members? If a 25-year-old non-member looked at your marketing materials right now, what would they say? Do they see themselves or their lives reflected in your messaging? Images? Products?

The goal with membership is not to grow accounts for the sake of opening a bunch of inactive accounts.

You want to earn PFI status. In order to achieve that level of loyalty and ongoing engagement, you must find ways to activate members to get engaged from the initial account opening experience. In every training, employee review, and incentive plan, emphasize getting members to open a checking account, engage in mobile banking and debit card transactions, as well as open a credit card or loan. The more deeply rooted a member is in the first 6 months, the more likely they are to be with you long-term.

TIP: Measure your attrition in multiple parts - Total Attrition vs. Attrition of Members with Loans | Members with Checking | Members with CD | etc. The more granular you can examine your attrition, the better able you will be to recognize problems within your product and/or service offerings.)

A credit union brand needs loyalists in order to stay relevant.

If you’re constantly churning through members, you’re doing something wrong. Perhaps you aren’t paying attention to when members are paying off loans. Maybe you have too much hot money that leaves every time the term is up. Or it’s possible you have more older members than younger ones and your membership is LITERALLY dying. Get to work right now to build long-term brand ambassadors who will spread the word to friends and family (especially the younger ones!) about the difference you’re making in their lives.

Read Part III

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