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Connexus : Issue 37
union in the listings and just gloss over it because they feel it's not relevant to them." However, Lamont says young people's impression that all banks are boring at least gives innovative players a chance to stand out from the pack. "Anyone who can cut through that message and show young people that, actually, they're not dull and boring, they are a bit more fun, they do have relevant products for their needs, is going to do well." The success of the novel Greater Building Society ads featuring American comedian Jerry Seinfeld proves the value of being different, says Lamont. "They've done a great job of building brand awareness beyond their traditional new customer base, and they've done that by pulling off a series of ads that allows them to punch above their weight. It gives them instant cut-through and it ensures that people will actually pay attention to their ads and their brand proposition." Abacus concedes that the mutual sector has a branding challenge, given a lack of market awareness about terms such as 'credit union' and 'authorised deposit-taking institution'. CEO Louise Petschler says the peak industry body is commissioning research to decide on a better term to sell the model, whether it is 'mutual banking' or 'customer-owned banking' or another tag. "We need to create a unifying brand for the sector and, selfishly, we also want a shorter term so we can get more journalists to write more stories about us. We want to have 'mutual banking', let's say, as the clear alternative. If we put the resources behind it, I think we can come up with a term that will strengthen and unite the industry." Product push Getting the product and services mix right for younger banking customers is a must for any financial institution. New research from the Chief Marketing Officer Council reveals that gen Y's desire for more digital interaction and online GEN NEXT Connexus 29 www.abacus.org.au FEATURE What gen Y wants Generation Y is those people born from 1982 to 2000. The Australian Bureau of Statistics says they make up about 21 per cent of Australia's population and 18 per cent of the workforce. That will grow to about 42 per cent of the workforce by 2020. They are the most highly educated generation in Australia's history. Gen Z is those people born in and after 2001. In 2009, Telstra produced the report ICT as a Driver to Improve Service to Generation Y for Financial Services, an in-depth look at the banking needs and attitudes of younger people. Here are some of its main findings on gen Y: • They put a premium on a financial institution that provides "many convenient ways to access your money". • They have a very strong expectation of problem resolution when dealing with a financial institution and of courteous, friendly and knowledgeable staff. • Their requirement for flexibility and control with financial matters directly influences their perception of customer satisfaction. • About 60 per cent of gen Y customers express a desire never to attend a bank branch. • More than half of gen Y agrees with the statement "computers and technology give me more control over my life". • High-value members of gen Y are substantially less satisfied with financial services institutions than their lower-value counterparts. • The role of technology, and in particular internet banking, is of more importance to gen Y than older groups. KIRSTY LAMONT ON TECHNOLOGY PLATFORMS: "For simple products such as online savings accounts or credit cards, [younger customers] expect to be able to do the whole process seamlessly online. With something like a home loan, obviously that's more complicated, and generally they'll do their initial research online, build a shortlist, then look to talk to someone to refine that shortlist and get through the application process."