Are banking brands finally getting ahead of the consumer curve?
Reading an article this week about Chase Bank in the US, I noted for the second time in a week a services brand seeking to be “the apple genius bar” for their category. Not surprisingly, many brands outside of retail are seeing what Apple has been doing with the retail experience design and developing a brand strategy to make a similar impression on their customers. If only it was that easy.
Chase Bank is the largest bank in the US by assets, so when they say they are rolling-out a new format to suit today’s banking customers, every bank marketer around the globe should be interested. Whilst Chase will not be opening flagship Apple Store style formats quite yet, the strategy behind the evolution of their retail experience is based-upon identifying changing consumer need.
Bank brands globally have slowly shifted their retail customer experience over the last decade, but relative to other categories and retail brands, they have not kept pace with the changes in the way consumers shop.
Two consumer behavioral changes identified by Chase are:
• Millennials prefer to have conversations about long term financial goals, and
• The demand for convenience is equally as relevant to banking as it is to every other retail category.
Recognising these trends, Head of Branch Banking and Wealth Management, Pam Codispoti envisions “Chase branches transforming into dedicated spaces for advice similar to Apple stores’ Genius Bars”. As a result, Chase are planning to roll out six “Everyday Express” branches. These branches will be smaller offering simple services like account openings, deposits and withdrawals in a more convenient, faster moving format. The branches will also feature a Digital Advice Bar to help customers discover and engage with the brand’s products and using video conferencing to connect customers with other Chase branch bankers to help with more complex matters.
Taking an agile design strategy approach to rolling-out the concept, Chase doesn’t have a timeline for expansion, focusing on learning how customers respond to the new spaces before evolving and executing Nationally.
For banks looking to better serve their customers, the Chase ‘Everyday Express’ format is an interesting option that sits between full branches and ATMs from a convenience and service perspective.
David is the founder of Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in the creation of high engagement brands that attract the attention of their audience and stand out from their competitors. David has extensive experience working with corporate, retail, food & beverage and entrepreneurial clients. Find out more here
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Photo Credit: Chase Bank