Attract new members the best talent with an innovative branch while expanding into a new market.
New Alliance Federal Credit Union found it difficult to grow in their existing market as jobs migrated towards the city, taking the younger demographic with them, growth became a challenge. The credit union also sought to adapt to changing market conditions by moving away from traditional branching to a more personal tellerless staffing model to connect. To achieve these goals, they needed to find a location where their new branch could have the biggest impact, so the biggest question became “Where?”
Investing in a Growing Market
To answer that question, Momentum delivered a comprehensive market study that explored the areas currently served by New Alliance’s branch network and their community charter. The study looked for areas that would effectively drive growth, offer community engagement opportunities, and further expand the credit union’s brand awareness.
The predictive analytics struck gold with a rapidly growing neighborhood a few minutes by car or bicycle to downtown Pittsburgh. The area has a strong presence of tech firms and an exploding population young professionals in the market for new homes. As a bonus, New Alliance is the only community-based financial institution serving the area, offering residents a fresh alternative to the big banks.
Serving the Community
New Alliance and Momentum went all-in on the credit union’s commitment to serving the community when it came to design and function. The branch features a flexible community and incubator space, a room that functions as a community resource, open to small businesses and members of the community for meetings and events.
The new staffing model also revolves around promoting personal connections. This is New Alliance Federal Credit Union’s first tellerless branch, and the design does away with traditional transactional spaces in favor of a more open and welcoming layout that allows staff and members flexibility in how they choose to interact. There is a café-style seating area, counter space with stools, a tech bar and comfortable chairs, all of which provide a more casual setting for more in-depth conversations.
The branch also features a pet watering station (complete with camera and Instagram feed!) and bike rack, making the location accessible residents of the highly walkable neighborhood where cycling and bringing your dog to work are the norm.
Lawrenceville is perfect for New Alliance’s new community branch, but the area identified by the market study is in the middle of an incredibly hot real estate market. Working with real estate agents became difficult and properties sold as soon as they came available. Bob Saunders, VP of Strategic Partnerships, kept his ears to the ground and thought outside by checking real estate ads on platforms like Zillow. One day the ideal location showed up and Bob quickly contacted the seller and credit union team, and they were able to close on the property right away at an incredible price.
We believe that collaboration and open communication are the foundation of successful projects. In the design-build project model, sharing knowledge and ideas is fundamental.
Design-build breaks down barriers between the designer, the builder, and the people who will actually use the building. The team works together to establish a shared vision of success. Everyone is free to contribute their best ideas at the right time, when they have the greatest chance of improving the project. On a design-build project, as team members experience the value of integrating diverse viewpoints, they develop trust. Communication increases. Friction decreases. The project takes on its own forward motion, and the sense of tangible progress makes the process energizing and fun. The end result is better branching and workplace strategies that deliver on our partners’ goal, better relationships, and better buildings.
To learn more about the process, visit our Services page. And don’t forget to check out our Insights page for our latest insights into issues facing credit unions and community banks, from branch transformation strategies to the impact of evolving customer experience demands. We’ve also published a Quick Start Your Branch Transformation Guide with activities that will help you plan and kick off your next project!