The Story Your Members Want to Hear (and a Branding Pitfall to Avoid)

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Do your brand and your branches tell a story that your members want to hear?

Picture a group of professionals, whether in a SEG or local industry you want to reach. I’ll use healthcare workers as an example.

You want to associate your branches and your brand identity with that industry.

In our healthcare example, the obvious strategy is to bring the atmosphere of a clinic to life in the choice of materials and finishes. Clean, sterile. Using imagery of healthcare, nurses, doctors.

This does the job of connecting your brand to your members’ profession.

But is it the story your members want to hear?


Think about why someone gets into healthcare. They have a passion for helping people and for promoting wellbeing of their patients and their community.

But they also work a hard job. One of the last things they want to be reminded of coming into the branch after a 12 hour shift with a high patient load is to feel like they are back at work.

Instead, break the ideas you want to convey and show them implicitly. They want to feel a sense of wellbeing, and they want to be drawn in with how their money can work for them rather than how they work for their money.

Take a look at NIH Federal Credit Union as an example. The branch environment celebrates the credit union’s traditional healthcare SEG with a focus on wellness and biophilia. The design concept is a “tech spa,” a place where people can feel at home, take a breath, and relax. There is no teller line or teller pods, but rather less formal conversation spaces surrounded by plants, a moss wall, natural wood, and textured wool furniture.

The only explicit association with healthcare is signage of a heartbeat graph leading to an abstract image of a stethoscope in a heart.

The design is effective because it tells a story of why their members go to work, not of the work itself.

So when you think of a story that you want to tell to your own members, rather than thinking about what they do, think about why they do it. It could be the passion that drove them to their career, or it could be what they want to do with the money that they earn.


Reach out today to learn more and kick off your own branch transformation, or fill out the form below to download “The Human Era of Banking” and take a dive into the retail banking trends making the biggest impact in 2023!

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