Wanting to establish a stronger market presence as one of Canada's leading financial institutions, and highlighting one of their primary brand attributes being 'service', a whole new design concept was required. Located in the heart of the Toronto's financial district, this new space also came with a few unique characteristics.
The 10,000 sq ft of ground floor space was entirely separated by the building lobby. Having the area divided into two separate spaces by the building lobby was definitely a big challenge, from an operational point of view and as wanting to create a visual impact. The physical constraint forced our client to rethink their way of operating and leading them to separate the Retail section (counter and teller) from the Advisory section (consultant).
The use of technology to provide the information was a definite way of educating rather than selling. All the new elements support the idea of providing service to customers, along with a dedicated hostess, as an initial encounter. The staff was also very pleased with the changes, having an environment which allows them to be less formal and more intimate conversations. Most of all, the customers' feedback was very positive with a sense of curiosity.
The fact that the customer can freely linger in the space is also a novelty which has them telling a friend and creating a buzz on King Street. Some of the floor units with the media screens are already in production and to be placed in some of the other branches. The fact that the National Bank, in less than 3 months after opening, is gearing up with a roll out plan to apply this new concept to their other branches is a true sign that their goals were accomplished, and even perhaps exceeded some of their expectations!