Mabrey Bank Branch
Looking to transform, Citizens Security Bank of Oklahoma took a leap and rebranded in 2015. This community bank, run by the Mabreys had worked hard to remain family-owned and locally-operated, yet their name, Citizen’s Security Bank was similar to other institutions in the market and gave a different impression. So they decided to go back to their roots, to their family name—and rebranded to Mabrey Bank.
Primarily serving small to mid-sized communities, the Mabrey family has been a fixture in Oklahoma for four generations and their name is well recognized and respected. While rebranding was a bold decision, it was a necessary step, as they moved into the Tulsa market, to enhance their brand recognition as an institution focused on superior customer service.
Beyond the rebrand, they wanted to take their transformation to the next level, aligning their brick and mortar with this new brand. The Mabreys felt it was time to grow and modernize their branch network.
Not wanting to alienate their loyal customer base, they needed a design that was rooted in their traditional history but elevated to meet customer expectations for cutting edge retail banking. Having already secured a prime piece of real estate in the MidTown Utica Square area of Tulsa, building a brand new full-service prototype was the logical next step in their transformation. Now, all they needed was the right partner.
Staying true to their goal of transformation, they knew they needed, not just an architect and construction firm, but a financial retail design expert for their new prototype branch, a partner. NewGround came to mind.
NewGround and the Mabrey family had maintained a good relationship over the years, having partnered together on various projects since the 1950’s. NewGround’s thought leadership and retail banking experience made them a natural fit to create this new location.
The strategic planning started with an Ideation session that included key leaders within the bank. Throughout this process it was uncovered that with their strong percentage of commercial clients the branch needed to be designed around a more consultative experience rather than a transactional one. This meant a smaller retail footprint and more space for private one–on-one discussions between clients and the Bank’s commercial lenders.
The Ideation session also confirmed that the name, Mabrey, carried a strong reputation and reaffirmed their decision to capitalize on that clout for their rebrand.
Having been well versed in the Universal Banker Model, the Mabrey family had strong opinions on how best to implement this concept into their design. With NewGround’s guidance they elected to forgo the on-stage/off-stage model to keep as many employees on the floor as possible.
They also chose to stay true to their commitment to personal interaction and did not employ smart and virtual ATMs. Instead, they optimized the in-branch experience using teller pods and digital signage. Three drive-thru lanes and a drive up ATM allow the Bank to offer their customers convenience, but all other transactions are driven inside the branch to encourage face-to-face communication. Fifteen full time employees serve Mabrey Bank’s high-worth clientele in this MidTown branch.
“This process wasn’t about throwing out everything they’d done before. It was about modernizing their look.”
- Brad Ritner, NewGround Director of Retail Design
As for the look and feel of the branch NewGround stayed true to Mabrey’s traditional style with sophisticated touches like fine artwork, wall coverings, modern furniture, and muted colors throughout the consultative spaces. The retail space features lightly branded elements in a welcoming and open floor plan.
It was important that the building design fit in well with the neighborhood so the exterior is a nod to the affluent area featuring a natural stone façade, subtle archways and a slightly pitched roof.
The site the Mabrey’s chose for their new branch location was a combination of three pieces of property, each with existing buildings. The build process began with the demolition of these existing structures. While the site was not without challenges, the location was ideal. At the completion of the project, the Mabreys are proud that they were able to stay true to their family history and the beautiful new MidTown Branch built to serve their growing customer base.