It’s been a tough winter. What with icebergs washing ashore on Cape Cod, kids missing classes due to storms/stuttering school buses, and record-breaking snow in Boston, we’ve really been through the mill this year.
But spring is here. Almost.
Which means it’s time to start planning some creative ways to convert strangers into customers/members for bank branches and credit unions. You’ll become part of the rise in popularity of the new “coffee-shop” branches and money lounges with your zazzy marketing plan.
We decide to compile a helpful little list of ideas for anyone still too frozen to function (totally understandable). Please feel free to cherry-pick any that you think might work for your branch.
1. Jazz It Up!
Ever considered inviting a local musical outfit to play some cool jazz, or some quiet soul, or even a touch of soothing world music?
It could be a single talented clarinetist. Or a gifted local youngster with a flair for the violin. A mini (somewhat tasteful) in-branch “concert” on a sunny Friday afternoon will make your visitors think they’re on vacation, especially if you’ve introduced some fragrant flowers into the mix. It will imprint them with feelgood vibes and you’ll be forever associated with that springtime moment when a trip to the branch suddenly became a reason to dance. Not that you’d want people dancing inside your branch, would you? Or would you? Oh lordy, that’d be some priceless marketing right thurr…
2. Some Local Flavor
Creating a temporary local theme will show your branch customers that you’re part of their community. Research local history and build out some iconic reminders of where you all are. Create cardboard cutouts of local architecture, historical characters, cherished local traditions, etc, and place them about the branch. They’re inexpensive and impactful, and better still they’re a guaranteed talking point. If you want your customers to spread the word about your awesomeness, the commemorative depiction of *that* event or in-joke in local history in their local branch will do the trick.
You don’t have to do a local theme, of course. You can theme the branch any which way you choose, but choose wisely.
3. A Targeted Learning Fair for Future Customers
Children and youth are your future bread and butter, so plant some (branded) seeds in their enchanted little minds this spring and watch ’em grow. Yes, the little ‘uns love your furry mascots, but how about hosting a targeted seminar for youth that’s interactive and carries rewards? Imagine designing a portal they can access via in-branch laptops and tablets, like a problem-solving video game with pre-set account balances and exercise options. A kid-friendly branch employee can give a talk, and then mingle with them as they navigate their way through their first ever digital banking channel.
If loading a custom app for Generation Y is not your thing, how about staging a presentation about “The Bank of Things“, and give them a taste of a fully-automated lifestyle, in which their every financial need can be tracked and fulfilled in real-time without them breaking sweat. You know they’d love that.
4. Promote a “Birthday Month”
Everyone has a birthday, so why not pledge to give everyone who’s birthday falls in a certain month (the merry month of May, for instance) a card and a small gift. Of course, they’d have to come into the branch to receive their prize, which could drive more foot traffic into your retail zones. You could promote the campaign with in-branch posters, and maybe even a billboard in town. A local radio ad would seal the deal. Create some “Happy Birthday” decor for the branch, including balloons, a cake every day, etc., so that anyone coming into the branch is reminded to tip off their loved ones whose birthdays fall in that month. It’s gold!
5. Host a monthly movie night
America loves movies. All it takes is an adequate space, a flat screen TV hooked up to Netflix or a DVD player, and hey presto you’re the local cinema for the night. You could target your audience by choosing to screen certain film or TV genres. Don’t forget; this is the age of the Binge Watcher, so your branch could function as a community connection point for young professionals in the area who love shows like Breaking Bad, or House of Cards. Be sure to clearly state the audience rating, and fire that popcorn machine up! If you promote your Spring Drive-Thru Movie Month effectively, your branch will be the coolest in town.
We think you could easily pick any one of these ideas and make your financial institution the best on the block!