Atlantic Central Branch Transformation
Plan and Execution
In 2004 Atlantic Central, which represents and supports the credit unions of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island created a brand and marketing plan that was mutually adopted by the majority of the 49 credit unions that make up the system. In 2017/2018, Atlantic Central, and League Data, sponsored a further step towards brand cohesion by developing a consistent path for branch transformation that each credit union can take to further strengthen the system.
Under the guidance of a credit union based working group, Atlantic Central engaged the services of NewGround to partner in this process. Together, we held an intensive exploratory workshop, called Ideation, where 11 credit unions contributed ideas. Following this, prototypes were created for four different scales of branches:
• Full Service
Once the desired member experience was defined, four credit unions volunteered to offer pilot locations for the new concepts. These branches were designed and completed by 2018. The learnings from Ideation to pilot completion were summarized in a comprehensive Playbook (147 pages) that could be used by any credit union in the system as a guide to achieving the brand concept and experience.
Member, Staff and Community Impact
• Member Impact: A key goal of the project was to create a consistent member experience, whether a member is visiting their local community’s branch or attending a branch from another province’s credit union. Overall, the role of cash is declining in the branch but the concept of offering coaching for advice and the complex question is dramatically growing. Regardless of the size of the space, the member’s brand experience is paramount.
• Staff Impact: As well as creating opportunities within a new market, staff working out of the new branch would be helping pioneer a new work profile by working in a branch designed to cross over between physical and cultural channels.
• Community Impact: The branch transformation project has the potential to create a consistent marketing and service message to the 300,000 plus members that make up the system. Members will know they can walk into any branch and receive the same warm, receptive message.