If you've been around for a while, your financial institution more than likely has older generations of customers on lock. But aside from positive word of mouth passed down from parent to child, your future generational appeal will largely depend on how early you can get Gen-Z excited about financial education. (Sounds like a steep hill to climb, right?)
Here are four avenues you can take to adjust how you market your bank or credit union to young consumers.
It doesn't take a lot of development effort or budget to reposition your banking experience for younger potential customers. The key is to put things in terms they understand to help them value the power of saving money. This can be as simple as allowing a setting on your mobile app or online banking platform to name accounts. Confer with parents on how best to "name" their child's savings account—maybe it's "New Bike" or "Orlando Vacation." Have fun with it—and bonus points if your platform allows you set savings goals to even further drive home the point that saving money means bigger rewards.
Introducing your child or teenager to the concept of a card account can be a little daunting. That's why you should outfit your branch locations with entry-level products built to make things simpler and clearer for your young customers. Encourage parents to try a low-fee prepaid card to start out with, so that their funds are finite and overdrafts aren't possible. Then upsell a beginner credit card before they graduate high school to set them up for success in adulthood—maybe even consider fashioning your rewards program for youth-oriented credit cards around rewards they'll actually care about, such as gas, streaming audio subscriptions, app store credits, etc.
So there are scads of teenagers in your area with part-time jobs—how do you convince them that setting up direct deposit is superior to cashing the check for paper funds? You make the user experience as powerful for them as you do your adult customers—they'll be your future adult customers, after all. Gear specific marketing toward teens in your target markets, and offer them perks they'll value, such as an opening gifted balance, a card plastic they can design themselves and—this one's important—an onboarding process that is simple and fast. (Don't make them jump through a million hoops to set up something as simple as direct deposit—utilize your mobile remote deposit technology to make this a one- or two-step process through your app.)
Okay, so this one seems a bit out of the ordinary. But an introduction to how investing and the stock market works can be a valuable asset for a young person. Talk to parents of teen customers about the brands their children care about—their favorite foods, tech products, etc.—and help to show them how investing smartly can help you meet your savings goals even faster. If the investments are with organizations and companies that are relatable to the young person in question, they're more likely to care about monitoring the success of their investments. A simple handout or landing page on your website that puts things in terms they can understand could go a long way toward getting your future adult customers excited about building a financial portfolio.