Refresh – The Latest Trend in Branch Transformation

Remain competitive with “refresh”

The idea of updating your retail branch network may be a little overwhelming, especially during these tough economic and uncertain times however, if you want to remain competitive, doing “nothing” is not an option.

If your branches need an overhaul but you are hesitant to act due to budgetary reasons, not knowing where to begin or have a lack of time and expertise to manage the project, then perhaps the latest strategy in branch transformation which overcomes all of these hurdles, is for you – Branch Refresh.

What is refresh?

Refresh allows you to update and modernize your retail branch network at a fraction of the cost and in a much shorter time span, all the while staying open for business. Stopping just short of needing permits as with most remodels and renovations, refresh projects covers all details related to cosmetic changes. This can include fresh paint, new flooring, decluttering, updating, and replacing casework, merchandising, and updating furniture – perhaps Refresh is a great opportunity to introduce and integrate in branch technology while showcasing consistent branding.

Considering the Refresh Strategy for the Multi-generational Consumer

As society evolves, financial institutions must adapt to stay relevant. Many banks and credit unions were built more than 20 years ago and at least 60% of those branches may need an update. Financial institutions should consider a Refresh that aligns the branch experience with the overall brand to keep current clients, attract today’s multi-generational consumers and increase profitability and grow deposits.

Roughly 70% of Americans are banking online; the need for visiting branches is no longer transactional but geared towards providing financial advice and education to help consumers select the best products and services based on the institution’s goals. With transaction volume down, the stakes are even higher for a great branch experience when they walk through the door.  Today’s consumers are retail-driven and attracted to an environment that reflects a more modern approach.

On average, 70% of Americans are participating in online banking activites.
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How to Get Started

If you, like many financial institutions, have locations with old carpeting, stained furniture, and outdated finishes with limited or no brand messaging, it is time to consider an update. Our four-tiered approach can help you navigate the process while keeping your goals and budget at the forefront.

Three Refresh Tiers

Tiers 1 and 2 outline a true “Refresh” that can be accomplished without permitting or interruptions to daily operations. Projects that fall within these two tiers can typically be completed within three to four weeks, with the work taking place on weeknights and weekends and under the most strict security measures. With careful planning and execution, multiple branches can be completed at once, giving the effect of a drastic and quick transformation, sometimes overnight!

Tier 3 takes “Refresh” to the next level. This level of transformation goes beyond merchandising and cosmetic changes and adds an analysis of the branch layout to determine its efficiency and functionality to best serve the needs of today’s consumer and to optimize your business model.

Tier 1

Branding and Standard Merchandising

Effective merchandising can improve the look of your branch in a short amount of time and without interrupting daily operations. Updating branches at this level can include painting, decluttering, replacing flooring and/or carpeting, integrating technology and updating existing signage and displays.

Consistent branding plays a vital role in attracting new and existing consumers alike. Incorporating eye-catching branding elements and regular messaging helps shift the perception of just simple updates to re-establishing a strong brand presence and creating a more modern trusted brand. These elements can include graphics, wall coverings, door banding, furniture, and signage.

Tier 2

Cosmetic Refresh

Cosmetics play a crucial part in updating and modernizing your branch. Fresh paint, new flooring and carpeting, lighting, casework, and millwork along with other furnishings can polish a refresh and give the look and feel of a complete makeover.

Before After

Tier 3

This level of change in Tier 3 can involve new teller line configuration, adding or removing walls, incorporating self-serve digital options, and more. The permitting required for this kind of upgrade will likely extend the time frame needed for the project and affect daily operations but is worth it. Not all locations will merit this level of transformation, but it is an investment worth considering for markets where the competition and consumer base dictate trends and make it almost a requirement for success.

Is a Brand Refresh Right For You?

The question is not if, but when and how extensive of a Refresh is needed. An updated branch extends the more modern and appealing approach offered online to the in-person experience. A Refresh solidifies the message that your institution is stable and “here to stay.” Plus, it provides staff with an environment that makes it exciting to sell your products and services and easier to engage consumers in a way that is sure to show a positive return.

Need More Information?

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Brian Laurinaitis, National Accounts Executive, Branded Environments

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