We believe optimal Branch Design requires a strategic approach that meets three (3) major challenges: Customer Centricity, a Brand Culture that communicates empathy for customers, and True Differentiation from competitors within your market.
As we begin to slowly reemerge from the isolation imposed by the pandemic, it is important to have a plan in place for rebuilding the human connection between you and your customers.
This plan begins with establishing a higher-order purpose by meeting customer needs through customer centricity. This means focusing intensely on your customer and their needs, particularly face-to-face interactions. Consider the customer journey and the behaviors it influences, from start to finish!
To build a meaningful customer-centric strategy, you must first understand who you are speaking to. Who are your customer targets, how can they be reached, and what are their wants & needs? At the same time, you must identify the optimal innovations to implement. A well-defined Retail Business Strategy and Brand Strategy should always serve as foundational guides when making such determinations. Once these critical insights are extracted, they become guideposts in the design of a holistic customer experience.
In our changing and diversifying society, the perception of a company’s culture & values continues to gain importance. Further complicating this trend, customer expectations around culture & values can vary greatly across different regions, demographics, and ethnographies. Thus, the challenge becomes how to acknowledge and speak to these different expectations, while still maintaining a level of consistency in the brand expression and experience.
You do so with empathy & sympathy towards your clientele. Design each space with acknowledgment of the culture of the micro-market to which it belongs.
Industry after industry has developed into a sameness in delivery of product and service offerings, as well as look & feel. Given the opportunity, we can differentiate.
An example of a differentiated concept in the retail banking category is the Capital One Café design, a format built around Exploration and Discovery. This format was a true expression of the business strategy created for the future of Capital One in the banking sector. The purpose of elevating customers’ knowledge in personal finance, and doing so in an extraordinarily creative way, led to a brand that is truly a “Category of One” in the financial sector.
Address these three (3) major challenges in branch design by creating a road-map for generating solutions through seven (7) innovative initiatives. Discover these
initiatives in our "7 Innovations: Bank Experience Design" post.