What Your Credit Union Can Learn from Paper

The video below is for a new iPad app called Paper. Paper, developed by a company called FiftyThree, is designed to allow you to “capture ideas as sketches, diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings.” The ad is, in my opinion, one of the best ads for an app I have seen – and it offers a lesson for credit unions.

Here is the lesson…

FiftyThree is not trying to make Paper a life experience. Rather, they are positioning Paper as something to use while engaging in life experiences. The ad illustrates this very well. Paper goes with you, allowing you to capture unique moments, thoughts, etc. by writing about or drawing them.

It seems that too many credit unions think the business of engaging members is about making the experience with the credit union the focal point. I think the message in the Paper ad is much more reflective of how credit unions should be engaging members. We go with members, facilitating life’s experiences … purchasing a steaming cup of tea to enjoy during a rainstorm, driving a new car off the lot and into the sunset, unpacking the first box in a new home.

Check out the video…and while you watch imagine your credit union working with members during their life experiences, in a way similar to how Paper is along for the ride, rather than trying to be the experience.

Paper by FiftyThree from FiftyThree on Vimeo.



  1. Tom, once again you nailed it. The fundamental problem is: we get too excited about banking! Not everyone does this for a living, so not everyone is going to get so tremendously jazzed up about a new checking account or a credit card promotion. It goes back to the discussion of features vs. benefits. We care about features, they care about benefits. Don’t talk about what is does, talk about why it does it and how your life will be easier for it.

    It’s a trap we as marketers all fall into and this article is a great illustration of why we have to be constantly checking ourselves through the eyes of the average consumer member.

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