Illuminating the network.

For several years at Vancity, from the time I was accountable for digital services and started working on initiatives to engage and strengthen community, I’ve been talking about illuminating the network. The more I learned about co-operatives, the more this idea grew. Localty

As a financial co-operative, Vancity has a great opportunity to continue to connect our members with each other, with our business members (businesses and organizations who rely on Vancity for their financial services and advice) and business members with each other. Lots of opportunity.

Recently, a project I’ve been working on for the past few months with some brilliant and capable colleagues launched as a test and learn pilot in Victoria, BC. Localty MapThe project is called Localty, because what else are you gonna name a loyalty program focused on local purchasing?

Localty is a mobile web platform connecting our members and the public to discover Vancity business members, and encourage them to promote these local businesses via social media and to shop locally. We want to encourage more people to steer some of their purchases away from multi-national chains and big box stores to small, local businesses.

Studies show that when people shop locally, there is a multiplier effect for that community, where more of their money stays local and stimulates local job growth and has positive outcomes for the environment and local infrastructure.

Localty BadgeI am excited about Localty because it is a pilot that could create significant local investments by our members into their local economies.

I am also encouraged by the way we created the program. The small team worked on it for three months, and are piloting something that shows potential but is by no means fully baked. The version we launched isn’t a full app, but a mobile website, so we could get something delivered quickly to start learning what works and where we misjudged our assumptions.

We added gamification elements, where people unlock badges and earn entries into winning coupons to spend at any participating local businesses. This way, we will quickly learn what it will take to shift people’s behaviours to spend more of their money at local stores and services. Eventually what we learn could influence other loyalty and rewards programs we currently have or are considering.

If we’re successful, what better way is there to bring our values-based banking model to life and show off our co-operative network, while adding real value to our business members, the general community and back to Vancity. I see this as an amazing win-win-win.

What do you think?

Two new Good Money commercials.

Two new Vancity commercials began airing this month. Both get to the heart of our new Good Money brand platform, which connects the dots between the business our members do at Vancity and the work Vancity does to support the communities where we operate.

I am tremendously honoured to be the voice in both of these commercials (although there is another voice at the end). All the people in the spots are our real members or staff.

This one is about our Jumpstart savings account and enviroVisa:

This one is about RRSPs:


Make Good Money.

Today Vancity unveiled its refreshed brand, including two new TV commercials.

For the six years I have been at Vancity, I have tried to explain the philosophical construct that is our business model. It is so simple really, we reinvest our members’ money back into community, and increasingly into community projects that create positive impacts directly in our members’ communities. Local and organic foods, affordable housing, social enterprise – areas like these have significant social, financial and environmental impact in our members’ lives and the lives of their neighbours. Rather than make money like any other financial institution can and then grant out money to projects (although we still do a ton of that), we want the way we invest our members’ money and make money for the credit union to have impact.

It’s actually quite simple, but I was starting to wonder if our brand could effectively capture this simple truth. Whether our brand could inspire our staff and our members equally.

And then a few weeks back, I saw what our agency Wasserman + Partners and my colleague, our VP of Marketing, Rich Seres and Linda Cekal, our Marketing Manager of Brand Experience had been working on. It’s so simple: Make Good Money. We make Good Money for our members by putting money to good.

Good Money

So here are the ads. We made a 60 second “anthem” ad to really express what the Good Money brand promise is all about:

And a 30 second ad showcasing our Sustainable Wealth Management offering:

These ads are shot in real places across our Vancity trade region and only feature our real members and staff. I am totally honoured to have my voice included in the voiceover in these ads. I have a deep and powerful connection to Vancity and all it does to improve the lives of people in my city and beyond, and to be the voice of Vancity is humbling and incredibly meaningful to me.

Major kudos to my new boss Linda Morris, my amazing colleagues at Vancity and at our agency. I hope you enjoy the ads as much as I do.

Good Money Poster