When the hand that feeds you starts feeding themselves

Warning: Slight technical discussion ahead follow by shallow stabs at credit union marketing.

Google announced today their new Google Public DNS service.  For those not in the know, recursive DNS, which is what Google is offering, is simplistically a phone book.  It translates “Mr. and Mrs. Johnson” to 800-555-5555.  Applied to the internet, it translates cuemployee.com to 74.208.31.243, which is the IP address of the server running my blog.  As is the Google norm, it is free.Every computer you use to get on the internet has to use a DNS server and normally these are managed by your ISP, but there are other options.

home-footer-logoEnter OpenDNS.  They’ve been around for a while now and provide both a free DNS service as well as paid options.  With their free option, you as a consumer get very fast resolution when you type a domain name in and it is smart enough to send you to the correct page when you type in google.co.  When a domain name is mis-typed or does not resolve, you are directed to one of their search pages which contains ads, by Google of course.  Here’s an example.  So OpenDNS pays for their servers, staff, etc by the AdSense revenue they gain from their sponsored search pages.

So what do you do when the company that pays your bills goes into the exactly same business you are in?  Does OpenDNS now race against Google for the fast DNS resolution?  Nobody can compete on price since it is already free.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it.  How are credit unions supposed to differentiate their free checking accounts from one another?  I’m sorry, is it a checking account, share draft account, or a spending account?  Is your checking account free-er than your neighboring credit union?  Wait, you focus on member service, so that’s your differentiation, right?