More Than Just Money Grows Up
Starting this month, be on the lookout for our new More Than Just Money campaign. We’re celebrating you, our members, and our shared values.
Our Newest Campaign
Starting this month, you will see a resurgence of marketing and advertising that amplifies More Than Just Money, coupled with photos and videos of you, our members. We believe this message is more relevant now than ever before, especially as it allows us to understand and serve the needs of all of our members, and celebrate the diversity of our communities through the language of inclusion and understanding. What's clear is that in a few years' time, we will add this moment as another shining example of our credit union doing more to help our members and encourage a community of People Helping People.
Origins of BECU
Depending on the length of time you have been a BECU member, you likely have some familiarity with our history and story of origin. The credit union dates back to 1935, a time of great hardship caused by the Great Depression and the onset of a World War. Then, a handful of Boeing Company employees pooled funds to help their fellow workers in need. That action grew into what would become the Boeing Employees' Credit Union, now simply BECU. Today, from those humble roots, we have become a national leader in the credit union industry.
A New Era
In 2002, when BECU served close to 350,000 members, Washington state passed a new law that allowed BECU to open up membership to all state residents. That change proved to be pivotal. At the time most people in the area had never heard of us or were unaware of their eligibility to join. We knew we could offer many more members desirable low-rate loans and high-interest deposit accounts, but it became clear that in order to make those benefits known, we needed to tell our story far and wide.
The Launch of More Than Just Money
BECU launched its first market-wide advertising campaign in 2006 and although advertisements for banks could be found everywhere, credit union advertisements were far less common. Our ads featured real members (a uniquely personal touch that continues to this day) and provided inspiration for consumers to consider an alternative to traditional banks. We spread our message, featuring the phrase More Than Just Money, to represent the values of our cooperative.
From 2006-2008, a budding economy buoyed by a record-pace home buying frenzy helped drive exceptional growth at BECU. Starting in 2008, the economic bubble began to burst, eventually sending the national economy into freefall and culminating in an unprecedented government bailout to keep the largest banks from sinking. Consumer confidence dropped to an all-time low, giving credit unions--a unique opportunity to capitalize on broad social perceptions of recognizing them as a safe, sound, and trustworthy alternative to banks. BECU added close to 275,000 new members in the years marking the great recession--2008 to 2012-- and More Than Just Money made it clear that what we had to offer was real.
For over 40 years, BECU's purpose of improving the financial well-being of our members brought us inside classrooms, community centers, libraries, conference rooms, and online forums to teach the fundamentals of finance. From the importance of saving and budgeting, understanding credit and how to build it, finding ways to navigate buying a car or a home, and planning for retirement--BECU covered it all. Our on-going commitment to education includes outreach to young and old, which ensures that actions driving More Than Just Money continue to create opportunity for communities across our state and the other markets we serve outside Washington.
When it come to community support a couple of our proudest contributions include awarding--over a period of 25 years--more than $3.2 million in BECU Foundation scholarships to more than 1,200 BECU members, and since 2013, providing over $2 million to non-profits through member-nominated People Helping People grant recipients.
And now, we find ourselves at a pivotal moment in history for a number of urgent reasons: a global pandemic, a looming recession and a movement for social justice. The intersection of these unique events has caused us to really take stock of who we are, what we stand for, who we serve, and how we stay true to our values and our purpose. As we explored what message best represents these foundational attributes of BECU, the driving force of More Than Just Money once again inspires and compels us to speak out and share what makes BECU special.