How Design Will Impact Your Branch Transformation
We wanted to dive a little deeper and talk about the design aspect of Branch Transformation, how it can help, and why there is no cookie cutter or one-size-fits-all solution. Customization is a must. It’s not just about doing it, but doing it the best way possible, specifically for you and your customers. Finding the right way to incorporate technology, signage, layout and other elements of branch design can help make you unique in an extremely competitive industry.
For even more expertise on this topic, we spoke with Justin Kroop, Director of Marketing at DBSI, a recognized leader in Branch Transformation. DBSI has its finger on the pulse of the industry and has helped numerous financial institutions modernize and reshape their branches over the past 15 years. QDS is proud to call them a partner.
The Importance of Branding and Trends in Branch Design
To begin, brand is a critical part of any business, and can certainly make or break a financial institution in an industry where differentiation is so difficult. DBSI offers a unique consultative approach to really help the financial institution discover who their clients are and how they operate.
When looking at the design aspect of a Branch Transformation,there are a number of recent trends. But we spoke to Kroop specifically about DBSI’s experience with “Signature Items” and “Selling 24/7 with Pop”.
Rabobank’s Signature Item
Rabobank is a DBSI customer, and Kroop said, ”before engaging with us, they were thinking about a futuristic design where it would look like you were actually sitting on the deck of the Starship Enterprise. But that wasn’t who they were at the core.”
By working with DBSI, Rabobank dug down to the values and needs of their core customers who are more agriculture-oriented. Their branch design took on a more approachable concept, and now includes their “signature item”, an interactive digital screen which is actually embedded into a kitchen table located in one of the branch conference rooms. Throughout the bank’s early history, employees would visit customers’ homes and conduct business around the kitchen table. So now that unique piece of Rabobank’s history will live on, and also provides the branch with a signature item to help differentiate them from other financial institutions.
Chase Branch Design Sells 24/7 with Pop
Another customer of DBSI, a larger bank with a good deal of success, needed a way for their retail building to draw attention to passers-by. After consultation, Kroop says we told them you really need to own that blue in your brand. We all know a color can cause instantaneous recognition when done correctly, but what happens when there are strict, specific city ordinances forbidding certain type of outdoor signage? That¹s when DBSI stepped in and helped them change their branch design and create a glass tower which would illuminate like a soft blue beacon in the night sky, even outside of operating hours. Since it was technically inside the branch, the ordinances wouldn¹t be able to touch it.
Competition in this industry is fierce, and finding clever ways to sell your brand and image 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is a major way Branch Transformation can help you get ahead.
What does a successful Branch Transformation look like?
As you know and as we’ve discussed, every financial institution is different, but the common measure of success ultimately comes down to the customer experience. If a new branch was launched today, the right blend of technology and digital signage would be an immediate shot in the arm simply by allowing staff to be universally trained. Technology can also enable a more open physical environment, allowing staff to get out from behind the desk and engage with customers in a more consultative, personal manner. As a result, customer visits can provide further opportunity for cross-selling, thereby potentially allowing the financial institution to obtain a deeper wallet share, meaning more revenue and profit. That quality time spent with customers is important, but may never have happened without the proper technology and overall branch design.
A Branch Transformation project done correctly should not only increase revenue, but can also allow branches to revisit expenses such as cost per square foot, potentially reducing expenditures from an operational perspective. Technology has allowed branches to reexamine their physical footprints, potentially opting for smaller physical spaces, either through micro-branches or renting existing space to other businesses to increase traffic.
As we all know, a decrease in cost plus an increase in revenue equals more profit and a better branch!
About Sean Farrell
Sean has been in the business since 2003 and always aims to be an expert on whatever solutions QDS is providing. Sean has grown into a thought leader in the space through research and company growth. Sean holds strongly to his Christian faith and uses those principles to guide the business.