From December 4-6, 2017, Future Branches convened in Austin, TX to collaborate and share the best thinking and best practices in banking today. In a competitive environment where consumers are constantly shifting and migrating to newer, faster and different channels, banks are looking at ways to make the branch experience more compelling and more meaningful. Whether it’s through introducing in-branch tech, realigning staff roles or reimagining bank processes, financial institutions today are meeting consumer demand at the point of experience.
Adrenaline’s President, Sean Keathley, and Chief Experience Officer, Gina Bleedorn, led the charge, rallying for transformative experiences in their presentation “Designing & Extending Your Future Branch Experience.” At the core of the session was the idea of the North Star as a guiding principle. In banking, your North Star is a never-ending journey to create the “ideal embodiment” of the branch experience. This ideal experience will always be evolving with forces of change – both internally and externally – but will be infused with fundamental brand principles.
According to Sean Keathley, “Once you define your North Star, it really needs to guide everything you do whether it’s in future initiatives or in going backward through your network to align and synchronize your branches toward that vision. Where the work really begins is after you define it.” The North Star path allows for experience iterations that are foundational, incorporating learnings and building toward your future vision. What that means is that a “future branch” is not so much a place as a path – a journey where you learn from where you’ve been to get better at where you’re going.
Gina Bleedorn says, “A Bank of the Future is not one that abandons everything it has done and adopts an entirely new way of operating, only to do it again several years later. Really, developing a Bank of the Future requires this North Star that sits at the center reconciling the go backward with go forward. The North Star is the always-iterating ideal embodiment of the branch experience at any given time.” Understanding that a Bank of the Future is an ongoing initiative rather than a moment-in-time exercise allows you to proactively manage change with a constantly evolving North Star.
In January, we will take a deeper dive into the process of developing and defining your North Star and how that gets interpreted and implemented across the financial organization. To learn more, come back in January or email us at email@example.com