PROJECT: Master Brand Environment, Image and Asset Development, Design, Brand and Merchandising Elements, Branch Roll-out Program
CLIENT: Ion Bank
Winner, NEFMA 2021 Best Branch Design Award
Ion Bank Charges into an Electrifying New Branch Model
Ion Bank has an aggressive expansion plan through markets in Southwestern CT. After a complete rebrand, Ion commissioned Image 4 to design an in-branch program to present their Authentic Brand™. While DRL Architects designed the structures for new builds and major renovations/updating, Image 4 detailed the Branch Experience and implemented a program for the multi-branch roll-out and refresh.
Ion Bank, the refreshed former Naugatuck Savings Bank, is executing on a branch location expansion, as well as on a customer-acquisition plan. In addition to adding smaller, less costly and higher-value footprints in tightly-targeted communities, Ion is also refreshing their in-branch execution to present their Authentic Brand™ – essential to differentiate the Brand in a highly competitive market, as well as to appear fresh to a younger and more tech-first demographic. Though Ion has a great Brand package of vibrant colors, Chief Retail Officer Dawn Derwin realized that scaling the scheme into a building footprint was going to require finesse.
Working with Mary Lou Cunningham, AVP Marketing for Ion, Image 4’s Graphic Design group worked to extend the exciting “active” marketing colors into the branch environment. With this many saturated colors in a space, every detail and sightline has to be considered so as to not overwhelm the visitor. These colors were strategically positioned to highlight “activity” areas of the branch: the ITM, the greeter/teller pod, the digital marketing/learning center and the Kids area. Our Graphics team designed graphical elements that scale in multiple uses: the Ion “Swoosh” appears throughout the brand treatment, value positioning statements in a variety of colors and treatments allow selection of just the right presentation for the need. Custom brand fixtures were developed and fabricated for compliance, the Ion Café, and service-areas.
Because the new Brand presentation was so different from Naugatuck Bank, Image 4’s Brand Development team suggested connecting to each community through a localization program. We researched the communities, sourced both contemporary and historic images, and developed a community-specific image catalog for marketing use not only in-branch, but for on-line and print initiatives.
DRL Architects designed a high-functioning, energetic footprint, placing ITM and ATM units forward for easy access, and attractive teller pods set back in the space for privacy for more complex transactions. Richly colored glass offices with privacy film allow staff to spend quality time with customers when needed.
The scheme has been deployed into several branches to universal acclaim. Staff are excited and energized by the feel and function of the spaces, and Ion has defined a unique brand look as well as maintaining community relevance and connections.