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Making the Case: Branded Elements in Financial Retail Environments

By Katie Briner

February 3, 2022

As we have all been living through a pandemic, how many signs have you seen posted? Signs announcing adjusted hours, telling you where to stand and wait. Handwritten signs and cheerful-looking mass-produced signs. Signs with vague instructions, others with multiple steps to decipher while you try not to block the door, and most signs that get missed entirely. The common link? They all rarely affect your behavior in the way that the sign posters hoped. Let’s take a look at a few environmental graphic strategies that work well in retail environments and connect members to the financial branches they frequent.

Create Certainty

It is not a great feeling to show up to a new place and not know where to go or what process you are supposed to follow. And just like the pandemic protocols taped up everywhere, these signs are easy to miss. Successful graphics will show a member within seconds that they are in the correct place and provide a next step in the journey. The member entry experience is a great place to reinforce any processes or preferred workflows you would like members to follow. At SAFE Financial Credit Union’s Red Bank Branch, a check-in kiosk was utilized to get members to the correct person quickly. The kiosk was strategically placed between the main entry and teller line queue. Hanging signage directs members to take a moment and check in for the best service possible.

Clearly marked and branded outdoor site signage promotes a consistent experience for members and helps keep frustrations low before anyone has even entered the building. Dimensional and lit logos behind teller lines and on teller pods help create a sense of a starting place for members and an opportunity to reinforce your brand.

SAFE Red Bank Check in Kiosk
SAFE Red Bank Check in Kiosk
Oxford Bank Branch

Connect Locally

Many branches take pride in living in the very same communities they work in. At the Bank of Commerce Oxford Branch,there is just as a high potential for college students to find themselves inside the branch as it is outside of the entry gates of the University of Mississippi. A familiar image of the university entry is included in a wall graphic. Paired with bold letters of the city name, this eye-catching graphic is easily noticed upon arrival at the branch. By showing the branch’s pride in their location by getting to serve students while they are attending university, they are creating certainty (remember this?) for the students that are navigating their finances alone for the first time, or maybe just feel out-of-place at a different branch than home.

Oxford Bank Branch

Double Down on Messaging

Environmental graphics provide an impactful and economical way to display your institution’s values, culture, and brand promise to its members. When there are plenty of other places people could take their business, finding common ground through consistent messaging on your website, apps, and in-person experiences can help further a connection. This is also true in areas that members don’t typically get to see. Reinforcing company culture in staff breaks and work areas can increase engagement and keep employees connected to your mission and goals.

SAFE SAFE

At SAFE Financial Credit Union Operations Center, a large, two-story-tall history wall was designed to celebrate their history as a company and what they envision for the future. The large scale of the history wall draws you in and keeps you there as you discover smaller-sized bits of history. You even get to examine the original founding documents and learn how SAFE’s first location was on an Air Force Base. While this is available for staff to peruse, it is in a more member-facing area in the entry lobby. At the staff entrance, a display of company values lines a long hallway to reinforce the culture and camaraderie amongst the staff. There is also an acrylic display under the adjacent stair with a seating area, providing brand color and messaging in a bustling area.

SAFE SAFE

Environmental graphics, when designed well and to coordinate and complement the architecture, have the power to move your members logically throughout your space and provide a sense of certainty that can kickoff interactions in a positive way. They can also connect your branch to the local community and provide you with an opportunity to tell your unique story along the way. At the end of the day, we all need more carefully crafted and throughout signage in our own customer experiences, and less taped-up pieces of paper.

Curious about how environmental graphics could elevate your space? Talk to our environmental graphics expert Katie Briner or head on over to our Environmental Graphics page.

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