Bank marketers are shrinking…their branches…again. Sacred cows no more, large lobbies and plush offices are being ditched in favor of interactivity-conducive business hubs and conversational-nook spokes, where people can talk person to person about their money matters.
According to industry trade journal ABA Bank Marketing and Sales, June 2014, the U.S. is actually following the lead of Sweden in this regard. Thanks to technology and shifting consumer behavior, smaller and more flexible branches are in store for bank marketers in both Sweden and America, where:
- Branches are being tailored to their neighborhood demographics and customer segments.
- Cross-trained bankers known as “teller-sellers” are able to flex from sales to service and back again.
- Staffing can be reduced to core “store associates” and supplemented as needed
- Video conferencing with a loan officer, mortgage specialist or investment advisor brings the expert into the room without an appointment, travel time or extra expense.
From 2000-square-foot Bank of America “Express Centers” and Umpqua Bank’s “Neighborhood Store” branches, from Wells Fargo’s 1000-sf “Neighborhood Bank” and BMO Harris Bank’s 900-sf “Studio Branch,” right down to PNC Bank’s diminutive 160-sf “pop-up branch,” the model of today’s bank branch can be tailored to whatever size it needs to be to fit the situation and the need. Chances are it’s smaller than your grandfather’s branch.
If you are a banker, are you ready to get smaller and nimbler? Is your agency ready to help you manage that transformation?
Co-Owner/Managing Partner, Riger Marketing Communications