November 12, 2014

Eat the Elephant: Accepting Change Before It’s Too Late

Tomorrow, Associate Principal Alan Davis, AIA, will present at BAI Retail Delivery, an annual national conference that engages financial brands from around the country in forward-thinking conversations. Before he jets off, he has a few thoughts to share on why accepting culture change now, instead of later, is better for your business.

There’s an elephant in the room. It comes in the form of a trend we’ve encountered a lot lately in our corporate and financial design studios: Businesses are afraid to make real change.

We get it—any change can be difficult, and many of the reasons companies are hesitant to make changes to their cultures are valid.

The problem with getting stuck in this line of thinking is that these types of environments—offices, banks, retail establishments—are changing at a pace that makes it difficult for companies to keep up.

Baby Boomers are nearing retirement just as Millennials and Gen Z are entering the workforce in droves. Together, those two demographic segments make up 50% of the total population, and next year Millennials will be the new workforce majority.

New technology continues to affect nearly every facet of our life: how and where we work, how we buy products and services, how we talk to each other—you name it. It’s a fact we have toaccept.

It’s not enough to be reactionary to changes outside of your control. You’ve got to be proactive. You’ve got to start eating the proverbial elephant now.

Tomorrow, I’ll be speaking at BAI Retail Delivery, a conference that tackles these tough questions for financial brands. I’ll be presenting with a representative from Essex Bank, a community bank with 21 branches throughout Virginia and Maryland, on this very topic—how brands can accept inevitable change and discover solutions that work.

Specifically, we’ll be addressing one of the elephants in the retail banking arena: a migration to digital marketing as part of the overall customer experience. Their branch in Annapolis, Maryland, pulls from a demographic made up of young professionals. A traditional bank designed for a Baby Boomer consumer wasn’t going to cut it.

So Essex Bank went for it—they ate the elephant and implemented real change.

The financial design team at Baskervill helped Essex Bank create a sleek yet approachable design that is technology-rich while still people-forward, and it paid off. The bank surpassed its one-year goal of new deposits by 80% in only six months.

That’s what we do at Baskervill. We ask tough questions with our clients and translate the answers into a vision through design. We string together a ton of data points—who you are, what you offer, what you need—to craft an experience.

Change is inevitable. Slowly becoming irrelevant doesn’t have to be.

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