Credit Union Geek

Marketing, Strategy, and The Force by Joe Winn

Tag: disney (page 1 of 2)

Be Where Your Members Are

For the month of June, all posts will pertain to your website and how it can serve as springboard for your growth. Don’t underestimate this first impression!

“Look, there in the mural, just above the dragonfly! The wings form the Mickey ears!”

My Disney trips have always been unique. Since a young age, I was one of the Hidden Mickey hunters. If the term is new to you, that’s alright; you now count as “nearly everyone”. In a clever choice of design, Disney Imagineers added tiny Mickey Mouse ears (the three circles) into various attractions. This was part of the culture since the earliest parks, so if you look closely, every ride has at least one Hidden Mickey to find. Feel free to ask about my favorites. Right now, I’m particularly fond of the Conservation Station mural in Animal Kingdom (I’ve never seen so many in one place!).

Disney has never confirmed the existence of these Hidden Mickeys, despite the obvious evidence to the contrary. They don’t have to; I know they exist. In fact, an entire cottage industry of websites and books devoted to cataloging every last one speaks for itself. I was giddy when, on this past visit, while searching for a few myself, I saw a fellow couple hunting down their own. Instant bond formed. We identified a few Mickeys together, then parted ways to resume our independent journeys.

Hidden Mickeys add a layer of excitement to the parks. It’s a little thing only a small group of us recognize. Sure, millions of people pass through Spaceship Earth, but how many notice the too-perfectly-arranged coffee stains on the 1800s desk? I’ve seen it dozens of times, yet still make a point to identify it every visit. Disney and I have a special bond; just a few more of her secrets are visible.

How about your members? Most of them likely pass through your website with nary a glance at anything but that Log In To Home Banking link. Preliminary surveys of credit unions just like yours say over 90% of site visitors do nothing but log in. And you have that whole site!

Connect with members where they are. Disney put some of their Hidden Mickeys on the lines, a place you may find yourself often. Why not represent your priority services behind the log-in, along with their home banking? Just a simple banner, nothing intrusive.

I go on excursions to find new Hidden Mickeys and often find new parts of the theme park or ride I would not have seen otherwise. Give your members a reason to explore your website! A small giveaway based on collecting scavenger hunt answers throughout your site will promote new voyages. Integrate your social media team; it’s one thing to spread a hashtag on the wider Internet, another to guide members through your own products and services.

Next thing you know, we’ll be hearing about members discussing their latest Hidden CU Clues in the lobby!

Image: Me at Country Bear Jamboree, Magic Kingdom (I looked for Hidden Mickeys there too!)

Just Keep Swimming

“If you’re not being chased by a lion, why would you run?”, a friend recently asked me. It’s a good question. Isn’t that why we developed bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, and cars? There is a special feeling to covering distance on your own foot power.

Last year I decided, along with a family member, to train for a 5K (3.1 miles for Imperial folk). Our first race was in the middle of a Florida summer. Think 90 degrees, with humidity so thick you had to swim through it. Seriously, it was so humid the air was dripping. In other words, about the worst conditions imaginable. Still, we finished. No world records, just an eye towards the next event, a Thanksgiving morning 5K along the beach. It was a wonderful run which we both completed with no trouble.

Our goal was Disney.

runDisney hosts events at both of their parks throughout the year. We rushed to register for the Princess Enchanted 10K at Epcot. Even registration was a challenge…imagine every runner hitting the same site at once, plus, our internet connection went down to add stress. Somehow, we signed up despite the obstacles. But wait…10K? That’s twice a 5K! Sure is. Just keep swimming.

Last weekend, our efforts went to the test. Gathering at the Epcot parking lot at 3:30 a.m., we joined over 10,000 runners in pursuit of our goal. As the fireworks launched, we ran! If the first race was crazy hot, this was crazy cold. At least moving warms you up!

runDisney says, “Every mile is magic.” It’s true. The experience cannot be explained, from the camaraderie, to the character photos along the route, to the before and after party, it was a magical morning. My family member set a new personal record, despite stopping for photos throughout the race.

So, goal accomplished. That’s it, we’re done improving, right? Wrong! Not a minute past the finish line, we agreed to return in November for the half marathon (13.1 miles). Just keep swimming.

It’s easy to get complacent when things are good. We could have stuck with 5K races. Even 10K. You could have stopped when you reached your initial lending goal. But you didn’t. You set new ones, and together, achieved those too!

Dory may be forgetful, but she knows what it takes to accomplish anything. Just keep swimming.

Image credit: http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/thefw.com/files/2013/03/Just-Keep-Swimming.gif

Geeks Make the Impossible Possible

“If we can dream it, we can do it!”

Millions of people experienced those words as they rode my favorite theme park ride: Horizons in Epcot.

While the attraction is relegated to memory, pieces of it will always live on. If you are in line for Mission: Space, you may notice the badge in the center of the spinning station; it is the Horizons logo. In true Disney nerd fashion, I may or may not have the ride soundtrack and narration in my music library. And I ride Soarin’ for the orange scent borrowed from Horizons.

The ride was a unique challenge for the time. Imagineers were tasked with creating an experience tailored to the preferences and, well, dreams, of the guests. But each ride vehicle had to take the same track and finish at the exact same time. The idea was to provide this choice as the ride went on, not before boarding, so the attraction had to adapt to your whims.

How did the Imagineers make the impossible possible? Taking advice from their own attraction’s narration, they dreamed big. Upon Choosing your Tommorow Simulation (on a touchscreen appearing out of nowhere on the ride vehicle), you were sent into a future world of sights, movements, and sound. They decided on unifying the music and synchronizing the video experiences to each other. That way, everyone finished their own ride at the same time. No temporal distortions here.

This was in the 80s, when technologies powering your iPad were dreams seen only in sci-fi. But that’s what made it real, those dreams, fulfilled by a strong desire to make the future better.

Your credit unions began as a group of people pooling together their funds for the benefit of the community. What would they dream for tomorrow?

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse” – Walt Disney

Image from Horizons1 dedication to the Horizons attraction

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