As the economy is showing steady signs of the growth, many financial institutions are looking to refresh their retail locations or main offices, and/or seeking to build new ones. Banks and credit unions come to K4 seeking an answer to the question, “Where do we start?” A good place to start, is to think about what your bank or credit union ultimately stands for and what sets you apart from competition. The designers at K4 want to know what it is about your bank or credit union that you want to market the most.
- Is it your technological advances?
- Is it your ease of available services?
- Is it your community involvement and customer support?
The answers to these questions have an impact on both the layout of your space and the design elements within the space; right down to the furniture, colors, textures and finishes.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT
You, the client, will be the basis and inspiration behind every design. Every space that is designed for you should reflect your bank or credit union’s ultimate philosophy or vision. The vision of the space starts with the atmosphere that you want to portray. Think about customer interactions. Think about employee interactions.
- Do you want a casual spaces for alternative work styles?
- Do you want traditional spaces with the over-the-desk conversations?
- Do you want flexible huddles spaces or would you rather bold conference tables?
- Do you want to bring technology to your customers or members?
The space should be a reflection of both the financial institution and the members or customers.
- Who are you trying to attract to your bank or credit union?
- Who are you trying to maintain the business for?
- Do you envision the space with pops of retail energy, or do you see the space more relaxing with a home-like feel of neutral colors and textures?
- Do you want to bring in a mix of styles to feel more eclectic or do you want a more transitional or conservative feel?
Use the questions above as a guide when thinking about the design of your space. When brainstorming about how you want your space to look, you can often relate a space that you like with a retail or restaurant brand. Many financial institutions say, “I want to be modern.” Modern can be many different atmospheres and many different looks. You can say Target, Nordstrom and Urban Outfitters are all modern, but they all have different styles and atmospheres. Below is a “design spectrum” that I like to use to see where you fall and what images interest you.
THE END RESULT
Ultimately we want the end result to be a constant reflection of the financial institution, their employees and their customers or members. We strive for the design to be consistent from all angles including the exterior of the building, the architectural layout, the interior finish selections, the custom casework design, the furniture style, finishes, and all the way through the use of environmental graphics and your company branding. One thing we know for sure, a consistent branded place will ultimately attract more people to that space and confidently convey your brand to all who interact with it.