Gone are the days of “if you build it, they will come.” Just because you have a brick and mortar branch doesn’t mean you will get a visit from your members. As a financial institution in 2018, staying technologically savvy is indeed important to retaining your members. But having regular, face-to-face interactions with your members is hugely important (some would say equally or more so) to keeping them as well. But to complete, there’s more you need to consider.

So how do you make a location interesting enough to get people away from their smart phones and into branches? Future Branches recently published their “Global Branch Innovation Brief” which detailed some national and international banks that have reinvented their locations to be more interactive and more inviting. Some made their branches feel more like coffeeshops, some implemented interactive digital displays with financial exercises for kids, and one bank even made their branches into bowling alleys. (We know. We made the same face.) But with all of these renovations, there was one overarching theme: these banks knew a standard, run-of-the-mill branch wasn’t going to raise their profile or bring folks in the door. So they decided to try to deliver a different, unique kind of experience.

Obviously, some of the changes these banks implemented are beyond the scope and ability of most financial institutions. Quite frankly, they’re not all necessary changes either.  But this does raise an important question: how can you make your space more unique?

Here are some ideas to get the brainstorming started:

•  Consider interactive elements for adults and children.
•  Think about coffee or refreshments that a pleasing smell when you walk through the door.
•  Consider a community room or a space that could be open to the community to use for meetings.
•  What’s a need in your community that you and your branch could help fill?

The possibilities are both challenging and exciting. In fact, branch environments are ripe with opportunity! The Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group and Bank of Scotland said it best, “Branches are not a thing of the past – they just need to be reimagined.”


If you want help reinventing your space, please reach out at BigIdeas@kearley.com or follow us on Twitter or Facebook @KearleyAndCo.