Building society, nationwide
There have been huge changes in the way we bank over the last decade. Most consumers aren’t exactly thrilled by the idea of a trip to their local branch. On top of this, the unspoken stress and anxiety around managing money is often enough to put people off from facing their finances. Nationwide, however, was committed to keeping its branches open while others shut theirs to cater to its members and those new to the brand. It wanted the experience to be enjoyable, taking into account audience shifts in both behaviours and demographics to create a brand environment where people feel happy, relaxed and ready to talk about money.
With a purpose of ‘building society, nationwide’ in mind, we created a community-focused concept for Nationwide. Breaking from the often impersonal, austere feel of so many banks, we put humanity, openness and connectivity at the forefront of the new, revitalised spaces. It reflects Nationwide’s role as a trusted brand, always doing the right thing for its members.
Today’s consumers want the choice and convenience to do what they want, wherever they are, at the touch of a screen. Nationwide recognises this, but it also believes that while technology provides convenience, it’s Nationwide’s people who shine. That’s why the brand has invested in future branches and the staff within them. Our concept brings staff to the forefront by removing the physical barriers of closed counters and providing more open spaces so members can be served in a number of places.
We designed the branches with four clear service zones that let customers go about their business at their own pace. The zones - Conversation, Convenience, Community and Consultation - form our 4C concept, reflecting the changing banking landscape and integrating physical and digital connections.
Traditional bank branches tend to look like offices. Instead, we’ve designed the interiors to make customers feel more at home. Domestic furniture, including pieces from iconic British brands Ercol and Anglepoise, natural textured surfaces and greenery bring warmth to the spaces while exposed brickwork links back to houses and property, emphasising Nationwide's position as one of the UK's leading mortgage providers.
We made sure each branch feels like part of its local community, with custom-made graphics and a community lounge for a variety of local activities such as talks and events.
Drawing inspiration from the branch concept, we also reinvented Nationwide's workplace experience at their new innovation centre in Swindon, ensuring that that everyone who comes into contact with the brand, be they customers, branch staff or support staff, has the same unifying experience.
“ We understand the importance of face-to-face. We’ll transform our brand on the high-street, creating spaces that are meaningful to our members and demonstrate our unique difference to other banks. The new 4C experience offers our members the choice and convenience to bank with us how they want to, and not only that, our colleagues are loving the flexibility of the spaces too.” Richard Newland
Director of Branch & Workplace Transformation, Nationwide