Trey Reeme


July 2008

The more I read The Onion,

the more everything looks like a headline from The Onion.

Take these stories from today’s CU Times homepage:


Marketing, schmarketing: I’m immune.

Today, Seth Godin called into question State Farm’s promotion of MLB’s Home Run Derby:

Promotions work when they’re seen as generous or unique or tied into our needs and dreams. They also work as brand builders when they’re so ubiquitous we associate the brand with the event itself. But if I had written “Allstate” instead of “State Farm,” would you have realized the error? Doubtful.

Last week, Jeffry wrote a related post on Citi’s naming rights purchase for the Mets’ ballpark.

On the other side of the debate, one could side closer with Ben Rogers, who left this comment with JP:

In the SportsCenter age, you’ll get a couple of mentions per night on the most rabidly watched show for professional 18- to 49-year-old males. Owning the things that get talked about can make more sense than advertising on the channels where people talk.

I’m ad-immune from TV commercials (thanks, TiVo), radio (thanks, XM), newspaper ads (thanks, Yahoo! News) and phone (don’t even have a home phone, suckas).

Sometimes the only way to get your brand in front of me is by pounding your name in my head. That doesn’t mean I’ll choose you.

Here’s the $400-million dilemma: I shop on value (not on price – there’s a big difference).

If I’ve never heard of your brand before, I have Yelp or Wesabe or fillintheblankwithanytoolyouwant to help.

All credit unions should…

Change “Credit Union” to “Cooperative Bank.”

There, I said it.

Opportunity wasted

3,383 locations through CUSC. 32,000+ ATMs through AllPoint.

Gahhh, why don’t we make this one of our most prominent messages? Perceived lack of access is what holds a lot of people back from viewing credit unions as a viable bank alternative.

Another problem:  I have to know zip code and address to find one; puh-lease. When are the iPhone apps for these tools coming out?  Make it easier for me to find you.

Asking me to “look for the swirl” doesn’t cut it.

Define member

We look out our office window at an Austin Telco FCU branch housed in what was (I’m pretty sure) once a car wash.

What if they’d have kept the car wash and gave a free scrubbin’ to members?

If I’m a golf club member, I get green fees covered. A Costco member, gas discounts. An Admiral’s Club member, a lounge away from the madness. An HOA member, pool access.

Do we give our members meaningful perks — benefits beyond what they could get at BigA Bank down the street?

We should.

Otherwise, we make member = customer.

Tales… from… Car… Shopping

(Headline to be read in your best Joel McHale voice.)

Brad and his family searched for a new car last weekend.

Brad went to a car dealership in Humble, Texas and walked the lot with a salesperson.

Brad found a car he wanted to test drive.

Brad did some research on his BlackBerry during the test drive.

Brad decided not to buy the car.

Car salesperson to Brad as he was informed of Brad’s decision not to buy: “Thanks for wasting two hours of my time.”

If you’re in sales, a final walk-away “no” doesn’t mean a prospect won’t come back.  Sometimes it pays to let them go.

I encountered a pushy salesperson last week from a company I had wanted to do business with – the timing just wasn’t right for us to buy. He wouldn’t take no for an answer, tried unsuccessfully to go over my head and ruined our relationship before we could build it.

Free sells

Four years ago my friend Jeremy and his wife came for a visit to Dallas. We both grew up around Shreveport, Louisiana – you know, the town where the actors in that Oliver Stone movie had a fistfight last weekend.

Shreveport had no Starbucks at the time of Jeremy’s visit. Thus Jeremy had never gone to a Starbucks (unbelievable, no?!). Plus he avoided caffeine at the time. Health nut.

During his visit, we ended up near a Starbucks inside a mall.

I was distracted on the phone with Jenn trying to gauge how much longer we’d be waiting for them to finish shopping when the barista called out, “Strawberry Frappuccino… [long pause]… Strawberry Frappuccino.”

Jeremy walked forward, claimed his, ahem, free drink and enthusiastically said, “Thanks!”

We walked down the mall and I only noticed his unintentional theft after he’d gulped it down halfway. “I thought they were giving away free samples,” he pleaded.

Jeremy and I spoke today on my way to the office. He was in a Nashville drive-thru ordering his daily fix, a venti no-whip triple somethingorother.

Which got me thinking, do we charge for coin counters in our lobbies for non-members? If we do, we shouldn’t.

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