Whether you’re a banking institution, financial or tax advising firm, wealth management company, investment firm, or any other sub-sector of the financial industry, your clients choose to work with you for a variety of reasons.
Your record of improving financial performance for your clients and their portfolios; the offers and incentives you make to acquire and retain them; and how you protect their wealth and information are among the top reasons, but they’re not the only ones. Your brand is another reason, and it plays an incredibly important role — not only in helping clients decide to work with you in the first place but also in shaping their long-term experiences and perceptions.
Whether a client relationship will be successful long-term certainly comes down to how well you’ve managed their money or advised them on financial decisions, but there are countless brand touches throughout that relationship that make an impact. While many consumers prefer online banking and investing nowadays, a surprising amount still prefer in-person, on-site interactions. After all, who wouldn’t want to know who’s managing their hard-earned money? That, and financial decisions and products are often outside consumers’ expertise. They’ll want to talk it through with one of your experts.
For both of these reasons and many others, people will always be coming to your locations for services, insight, problem solving, planning, and more. And because of that, branding in financial services means giving close attention to the physical aspects of your brand to ensure you’re providing the best possible experience. Let’s explore three considerations for your physical brand assets, the effect they have on your clients, and how you can maximize their impact.
Think about the last time you went to the building of a financial services provider for assistance (that wasn’t one of your own locations). Picture it in your mind. What did you see? What did you notice? How did it make you feel? From the moment you pulled into the parking lot to when you finally sat down with someone, you experienced a variety of physical brand assets that influenced your experience.
- You looked for road signage as you drove down the street
- You noticed the appearance of the building exterior and signage
- You noticed how the door felt as you opened it
- You noticed the appearance of the flooring, walls, and ceilings
- You felt the furnishings as you moved around the building
- You noticed the design of the space and its features
All of these touchpoints gave shape to your experience. That’s why branding in financial services is so important: there are countless opportunities to give your clients an amazing brand encounter, and they all start with ensuring that your space is clean, functional, and thoughtfully designed.
At Stratus, our Refresh & Remodel capabilities factor all of these touchpoints (and many more) into your brand implementation program. From quick-turn updates like painting, fixture replacements, and furnishings to implementing larger brand assets like kiosks, digital signage, experiential graphics, and more, we understand the impact that appearance makes — and will deliver a world-class experience in keeping with your brand’s history and legacy.
Building financial brands: See how our team helped Huntington Bank convert ATM and branch locations to match its brand.
Here’s a stark truth when it comes to branding in financial services (and many other industries): you can invest in the most beautiful, engaging, and innovative brand program for your locations, but if even one thing is out of place, if one sign is flickering, if one of your branch’s interiors is showing too many signs of wear and tear, the experience and level of customer satisfaction of every client that enters will be negatively impacted. Does a semi-lit sign or office interior reflect the level of high-quality service you provide? What about poorly maintained ATMs or kiosks; do they speak to your recent innovation efforts? Does your outdated interior communicate to new clients that your company is relevant or lagging behind on the newest technology trends?
When it comes to branding in financial services, falling behind in these areas leaves a lackluster impression and fails to demonstrate to your clients the level of service you are capable of. It tells them you’re having trouble keeping your locations updated. That you don’t understand their needs or care about the customer experience. That, perhaps, you don’t have the resources to get them fixed. And that’s the last thing you want someone coming to you about money matters to believe.
At Stratus, our preventive maintenance solutions give your brand routine check-ups across all of your locations to identify potential issues before they become costly and brand-damaging problems. Signage systems, lighting, interior fixtures, restrooms, and multiple other physical brand assets are all carefully assessed — on a schedule that works best for you and your clients. If our team discovers any repairs or updates needed, these are presented to you with estimates so we can take immediate action. The result: everything just as it should be, and no customer experience left to chance.
Last but not least, consistency is paramount with branding in financial services. You’re not some random brand with a few locations here and there — you’re a major financial brand with a legacy that likely extends back decades, if not longer. Additionally, while your clients might have a ‘home’ location that they visit more often, they’ll likely be able to visit any of your other locations for assistance. The experience they have at these locations — at any of your locations — must be consistent and in keeping with the positive experiences they’ve already built with you.
To ensure this consistency, it’s important to work with a brand implementation partner that can execute financial services branding programs across all of your locations — whether you have a few dozen, a few hundred, or thousands. They must be able to implement your program with exceptional efficiency. They must be able to plan the program out on a timeline that supports your strategic and financial goals. They must have reliable partners they can lean on to bring the program’s vision to life. And at any time, they must be able to tell you where the program stands.
At Stratus, our brand implementation solutions are built on a strong foundation of program management. Everything is mapped and planned out ahead of time, yet we remain incredibly flexible to adapt to changing circumstances. At all times, you’ll have a dedicated account manager you can reach out to with questions. Reporting and other data will be provided to you proactively to keep you informed. And, we’ve built a nationwide network of more than 2,300 field partners — all of whom have been vetted for work quality and have proven themselves time and time again.
Our partnerships are the proof: Learn more about how we deliver nothing but positive returns with our financial services branding solutions.
Give Your Financial Brand the Support It Deserves
With a legacy of working with financial brands that extends back decades, Stratus is the brand implementation partner your organization needs to deliver the kind of experiences your clients expect.