“My goal each and every day is to make a difference – big or small – in the lives of others. You truly touched my life. Thank you for making a difference…” (credit union employee winner in its member sweepstakes)
___________________________________________________________________________________________ The above quote is from a credit union employee participating in a recent loyalty promotion. It demonstrates the effect of creating an exceptional experience with the brand – an experience that is key to brand engagement with both employees and consumers. To make that happen, banks and credit unions must leverage existing assets, infrastructure and distribution channels to engage and communicate with cardholders.
The Secret Sauce of Exceptional ExperiencesAn exceptional brand experience is one so positive that it’s etched in minds of individuals to the point where they will always remember it and will become brand advocates. How does a company generate exceptional experiences? A large part of it has to do with the uniqueness of the experience, which differentiates the brand from others. Think about Disney, No. 7 on Forbes’ 2017 list of the world’s most valuable brands. The reason people love Disney so much is that it transports them – even if only for a brief period of time – to a fantasy land where all of life’s stresses fade away. Disney also surrounds its guests with cast members who love their jobs and go out of their way to ensure an exceptional experience.
One Credit Union’s Exceptional ExperienceLast fall, one credit union created a unique member sweepstakes promotion to achieve its goal to motivate account openings. Two grand prizes were awarded – one to a member and one to an employee who, in order to qualify, had to be members of the credit union’s loyalty program. The grand prize for the sweepstakes was an all-expense paid trip to Chicago for two to run in a warehouse dash where each winner could collect up to $8,000 in prizes. The dash consisted of a 60-second sprint down three aisles of warehouse fixtures stocked with brand-name merchandise including popular electronics and household goods. Although the dash itself was rewarding, one must look past the iPad, Dyson or other coveted prizes to understand what this promotion meant to winners and their circles of friends. It was about creating excitement and memorable experiences that translate to positive brand associations. It was about making people feel special – in this case, by picking them up at the airport, ushering them around Chicago, treating them to a welcome dinner and rolling out the red carpet.
“I had such a great time. It was more than I could have asked for. I have never had something like that happen to me and I’m still in shock…” (Credit union member winner in the member sweepstakes)