Bankers as Agents of Change

Disruption and consumer expectation are modern challenges to every brand. Something that is particularly true in the banking industry. But the relationship between people, places and processes is at the heart of transformation for brands and banks, alike.

Banking. In the consumer’s mind, the concept of banking might conjure images of long lines, multiple meetings, and piles of paper. But what if banking experiences were infused with relationships, utility and purpose? What if people viewed banking as a pleasant, helpful encounter every time – on-demand, convenient and solution-oriented? That is the puzzle attendees of #BankSocial 2017 in Miami were working to solve, and Adrenaline was proud to take part in a great meeting of the minds.

Bankers know better than anyone the fallout from digital disruption. They’ve seen branches shutter and banks swept up by bigger rivals. They know deep in their hearts that it takes more than a fancy app or a new digital platform to solve their larger, more existential challenges. That’s because tools can’t really solve strategic problems. That’s why we were so excited to lead a focus group tackling some of the biggest problems in banking today.

In our presentation on Wednesday, April 5, Adrenaline’s own Sean Keathley and our client Woodie Tipps led a hands-on session focused on universal transformation with strategy at its heart. Sean Keathley says, “One of the themes of the conference was around how smaller banks can’t out-convenience big banks. They can’t out-branch big banks. With social and online presence, they can create a bigger impact. But without a cohesive strategy, any of these other efforts will fall flat.”

In 2015, Adrenaline worked with Citizens National Bank to redesign three of their branches. The forward-thinking bank understood the power of the customer journey and how that plays into the overarching brand experience. The bank knew that they required more than a revamp of their physical spaces – they needed to embrace a strategy that improved the customer experience on every level. Central to this shift was embracing the universal experience, which retools the brand, place and culture.

When banks think of branch transformations, they might believe that the physical renovations or brand work might present the biggest tests for modern banks. However, our focus group participants pointed to culture and staffing as their biggest challenge, by far. That stands to reason. If you built the perfect bank branch where every path, every step is thought-out, but you didn’t have the right staff in the right place at the right time, then the experience falls flat for the customer.

Sean says, “Bank customers want choice. They typically adopt new channels and don’t relinquish old ones. That means that the branch is still a central touch point for customers. Just as you can’t survive if you don’t adopt new technologies to extend and expand your reach, you won’t survive if you’re not organized the right way. But maybe most of all, you won’t survive if you don’t have the right people. Unilaterally, every person in our group agreed with that.”

To learn more about the customer journey, download our Creating A Universal Experience white paper.

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