3 min read
Banking combines with co-working and yoga to redefine high street presence
With one in five banking transactions now carried out online, fewer people need the security of their local branch. For brands like CYBG, owner of Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, this has meant going back to the drawing board to rethink what their high street presence should look like.
After working with Market Gravity, our proposition design consultancy, to launch a digital banking platform called B, CYBG resurrected the partnership for an adventure that would take the brand in a whole new direction.
CYBG wanted to open a digital banking space with a difference. Something that had never been seen before. A place that proved B didn’t think, act or talk like a typical financial services brand.
Market Gravity helped CYBG open Studio B, their banking innovation lab on London’s Kensington High Street. A creative, interactive, hi-tech space that mixes finances with the future, it’s where the next generation of banking is designed by the next generation of customers.
Within the space, people share ideas, get feedback and, most importantly, innovate. And, of course, there are the usual facilities for those who also want to manage their money.
Studio B has shown that physical spaces still have an important role to play for both banks and customers. In fact, 81 per cent of consumers would still want to speak to someone, or visit a branch, no matter how advanced technology becomes.
After London, the next stop was Manchester and B Works. Part branch, part creative hub, the pioneering space on Market Street allows both customers and non-customers to learn, work and bank in one place.
B Works gives visitors everything you’d expect from a digital bank, plus a few things you wouldn’t. There are co-working spaces and hot desks; a social studio with a camera, tripod, lighting and props; free WiFi and charging points. There’s even complimentary yoga and fitness classes, plus a programme of events and masterclasses. Or people can simply drop by for a free cup of coffee.
Together, Studio B and B Works are redefining what it means to pop to the bank. You can still deposit a cheque or make a withdrawal… but you can also connect, collaborate and help shape the future of financial services.
As Helen Page, CYBG Group Brand and Marketing Director, explains: “The role of the bank is changing, and the reality is that more customers are choosing to bank digitally. We’re confident that by creating an informal space that encourages innovation and co-creation and supports growth for local consumers, entrepreneurs and SMEs, we’ll transform the way our customers interact with us.”
Eighty-one per cent of consumers would still want to speak to someone, or visit a branch, no matter how advanced technology becomes.