Skipton Building Society: Anything is possible later-in-life ideas centre

Guildford, Surrey

Skipton Building Society’s current network of around 100 branches across the UK has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1853. With a range of specialist financial products, this mutual organisation largely caters to the over 50s.

Skipton has always had brilliant existing customer service scores, but its challenge was how to encourage more people across the threshold, then inspire and engage those people to fulfill their hopes and dreams. Our early work was all about redefining the idea of retirement. In a world where 60 is the new 40, retirement holds infinite possibilities – but that landscape also changes with each successive generation.

Our ‘Ideas Centre’ concept reflects this ‘anything is possible later-in-life’ perspective – it’s a homely place that’s much more proactive, open, and welcoming. It celebrates the fulfillment of those hopes and dreams that had to be put on hold whilst focusing on career/raising the family.

 

People are enticed through the door with a clear view of the Ideas Kitchen. Just like the kitchen is the heart of the home, the Ideas Kitchen is the heart of the concept. The domestic setting – with items such as globes and travel books that staff can use as conversation starters – combine with gestures like starting every chat with a cup of tea, just as one does when visiting friends. This results in an environment that encourages discussion to help people unearth then fulfill their later-in-life desires. And a scalable kit of parts allows Skipton to retain the spirit of the Ideas Centre concept no matter the branch size.

“I would like to say how very pleasing the changes are at the Guildford Branch of Skipton Building Society. As an older lady, I found the surroundings quite pleasant before the change and hoped the area would not become a faceless modern clinical space. But it is actually much more welcoming, comfortable and private than before. A very impressive change of face.”

Early response to the concept has been fantastic, with one customer comment above.

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