Thursday, August 30, 2007

Umpqua Bank - Neighborhood Store

The photos above showcase Umpqua Bank's new "neighborhood store" concept, a high-design, low-cost retail format meant to "integrate into established neighborhoods like cafes," according to a bank press release. Despite the fact that the footprint of these stores (as Umpqua refers to all its branches) averages 750 sq. ft., cafe service, internet access, and merchandise from distinctive local business will be available in addition to full-service banking.

How did Umpqua pull this off and still find space to conduct banking sales conversations, given that these branches are no larger than your run-of-the-mill in-store branch? Through the use of what they refer to as a "Discovery Wall," a choreographed, interactive, multi-screen experience that allows customers (or staff assisting them) to access a wide array of information on banking products, or lifestage-specific topics. Content is triggered when a customer picks up one of a number of RFID-tagged objects--the colored, upside-down coffee cups seen in the picture above--and includes a video presentation as well as the offer to print out relevant information on a nearby printer.

Having played with one of these the last time I visited Portland, I can say it presents a pretty seamless, and totally differentiated experience, but then again it's hard not to be seduced by the design-chic Umpqua aesthetic in the first place. Given the errand mentality most customers have when they enter a bank branch, it's hard to believe that many stop to "browse" the Discovery Wall on a regular basis. One can imagine, however, that in those rare moments when customers actually do consider purchasing an additional product, an application such as this would be an invaluable sales tool (especially since the average branch employee can often only describe the value of 10-12% of a bank's products).

Unless I am mistaken, Umpqua worked with Portland-based Ziba Design on the overall branch concept, and uses software from Nanonation to drive the interactive and digital signage elements.

Well done.

(Photos taken from Nanonation website)


Anonymous said...

You are indeed mistaken about the designers.
The store design was completed by Surround Architecture, inc, of Portland Oregon, and they directed the display systems, and directed Nanonation.

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