Instead of Saying This, Try That

I came across a slide this morning that I used when I was teaching at Southwest CUNA Management School a couple of years ago. I’ll never forget when I heard my buddy Brent Dixon say this. So true and this is why I hate marketing. Hate it. Because we feel compelled to talk in “brochure speak” instead of just talking like normal people. 

If you pull up almost any credit union website today you will see that the physical brochures came off the lobby wall and are now electronically hanging on a webpage. It’s really sad. Brochures are designed as cheat sheets for our frontline staff (because we have so many products and services they can’t possibly keep them all straight). Brochures are the worst possible selling tool because they basically are designed to take home and read. So many new member packers are what I like to call the “barf of brochures.” You get a nice little folder just stuffed with every product and service brochure we could find! Stop the madness. Save the trees. And for heaven’s sake let’s stop brochure speak and start talking like real people. 

Here are some examples I found this morning of brochure speak on websites. This is a new blog format I like to call: “Instead of Saying This, Say That” 

Instead of Saying This: Convenience, security and affordability are important factors to consider when deciding on a checking account (punch in the face)

Try That: We all know it’s a royal pain in the you-know-what to move a checking account. But since it’s something you use almost every day and you hate where you are today (big bank)  we’ll make it worth your while. (and don’t give them a crap switch kit - actually help them move their checking account)

Instead of Saying This: Holiday Hours: Closed Thursday, November 26th. We will be open our regular business hours on Friday, November 27th.

Try That: Our staff will be home on Thursday with their families giving thanks for the day off, but we’ll all be back to serve you on Friday the 27th. Happy Thanksgiving!

Instead of Saying This: Built on the credit union’s philosophy of “people helping people” our Mortgage Specialists are here to help you find the right home loan and make sure the process is as painless as possible. (insert needle across the record album noise here so I can make another point)

Getting a mortgage loan is the most emotional purchase/process in your lifetime. You better be committed to making it as painless as possible if you’re going to say that or you're just going to piss people off. 

Finally, this is the last time I’m going to say it (probably not). STOP using shiny happy stock art people on your websites. Why are you still doing that? Come on, we’re better than that. Unless you use this stock art. 

We’re not-for-profit financial institutions owned and operated by our members with a volunteer board of directors elected by our membership - punch me in the face.