Arion Bank: Together We Make Good Things Happen
Banks are digging deep about the purpose and value of their retail branches, now that a lot of the transactional stuff is going digital. But many people still rely on face-to-face interactions when it comes to financial advice or learning about services. How to move into a branch mentality that’s all about being proactive, full of ideas, engaging, and providing trustworthy advice for complex and sometimes scary big ticket items like mortgages?
We’ve been working with Scandinavia-based Arion Bank to develop its physical channel strategy as it grapples with just these issues, and this month sees the launch of a flagship branch format in Reykjavik’s Kringlan Shopping Mall.
Our work with Arion Bank is grounded in a number of customer insights. Bank customers will be progressively more time squeezed and live more in the ‘now’. As a result they’ll look for convenience and productivity solutions, and will cherish ‘slow’ moments with time to reflect. Although increasingly self-reliant, they’ll seek help to make life-changing decisions. They will, however, be resistant to formality or hierarchies, preferring to engage on a more equal footing where their opinion counts.
Our strategy for Arion Bank moves away from a transactional process-driven approach. Instead, it’s the experiential embodiment of Arion Bank’s brand promise – this is a company where ‘Together we make good things happen’.
This ‘good things’ branch is rather daringly counterless, and the flexible and reconfigurable space is more like an Apple store than a bank, incorporating experiences that are digitally seamless and integrated with other channels; relevant, engaging, educational and inspiring; and a showcase for proactive, knowledgeable staff that can advise, guide and steer customers.
It’s an upbeat and inspiring centre of excellence that puts customer aspirations first, delivering sound financial advice and planning pathways that:
- Creates an all-encompassing good feeling around finance to build stronger relationships and invite consideration
- Opens mindsets and empowers customers
- Demystifies financial decisions and makes them less scary
This is a confident concept that responds to consumer needs now and into the future, supporting Arion’s commitment to making good things happen together.