PROJECT: Hingham, MA Branch Interior Design, Brand Design, Branch Rollout Program
CLIENT: South Shore Bank
FutureBranch: “It’s Just Better” for South Shore Bank
South Shore Bank contracted Image 4 to re-conceive the human interaction within the branch, and immerse the visitor in South Shore’s “Just Better” Brand positioning. Our Brand to Branch™ approach integrates and presents the unique aspects of this greater-Boston institution.
As South Shore Bank expanded to new markets, they saw an opportunity to re-think the in-branch experience for both customers and staff. South Shore contracted the team of Scott Towne Architects and Image 4 to design their “Branch of the Future”.
South Shore Bank President/CEO John Boucher says the writing is on the wall when it comes to customer behavior. “People are fearful of change, particularly when it comes to banking, so we understood that we were taking somewhat of a risk with the design of the Hingham Financial Center,” he explains. “We wanted to get ahead of the curve.”
Working closely with the architect, Image 4’s interiors and Brand teams developed an in-branch experience that put the customer literally at the center of the interaction. ITM and ATM units were placed forward in the footprint, so customers had immediate, “low-friction” access to simple transactions 24/7. A “welcoming” zone provided decompression space and an opportunity to grab coffee or tea while waiting at a discreet distance from the custom-designed Pods.
SSB’s marketing plan included community-based event/activity space, which was placed in the center of the facility and supplied with large-scale, touch-screens and wifi connection.
To help customers “land” at the service Pods, Image 4 created a custom, seasonally changeable brand wall that features local images of the three elements of SSB’s logo: sky, water and community. Our lighting design cued active spaces with lit elements, tunable lighting and branded wallcovering. Individual offices were glass, and privacy is managed with branded window treatments.
The design was wildly successful and is being deployed to other branches. The comfortable environment allows high-value human interaction to live comfortable with modern technology. Customers can “bank in their own way” as the need requires, an especially important feature as we re-configure the customer experience around Health and Wellness concerns.
The project also proved important as a model for other banks and credit unions to explore best practices. South Shore Bank assigned a staff member to coordinate tours of the space with other designers and institutions seeking to walk into a real “branch of the future”.