Category: Service Retailer – Permanent
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Submitter: Public Design Group and The Shopper Collective


Thanks to the increase in uptake of online banking, banks globally are seeing a rapid decrease in the number of customers coming into their branches.

We were asked to develop a retail strategy for Bendigo Bank that would:

1 – Re-purpose their 500+ branch and 7000+ staff network
2 – Increase public awareness by demonstrating our brand purpose in a differentiated and defendable manner
3 – Acquire market share
4 – Sustain a positive ROI

In terms of customer experience design, the objective was simple: Reinvent the way Bendigo Bank goes to market through the retail channel with it’s idea of ‘Community’, in a way that engages public interest and leads to the acquisition of new customers.

The insight is that although ‘Community’ is endearing as an idea, it’s not powerful enough to get people to commit to investing in the bank.

Our challenge was to make the idea of ‘Community’ relevant and powerful enough to today’s audience and that meant talking less about defibrillators & sponsoring the footy team and demonstrating how the bank is proactively creating sustainability within the communities in which it operates.

The metrics we were looking to positively influence were:

1 – Sustained increase in footfall into the branch
2 – Increase in high value sales
3 – Decrease in account closures
4 – Increase of awareness (specifically by word of mouth)

How were the objectives met?

The pilot branch (that won the Aussie Gold award) was opened November 2018. Customer exit interviews have revealed significant increases in service performance and brand reputation as well as likelihood for Bendigo Bank to be first choice.

Figures published by the bank for the first six months of trade, relative to the year before show that:
• There is a sustained increase in footfall of 75%
• Account closures have decreased by 28%
• High value sales have increased by 46%
• Staff satisfaction, motivation and fulfilment scores are at record highs.

In relation to the objectives from Q1, we have sustained a positive ROI, the business is new to bank so we have also acquired market share. The metric of increasing public awareness can be determined by the number of respondents from the first customer event (held four months after opening) who ticked the box ‘by word of mouth’ in the after event survey that asked how they had heard of it – this was 53%.

The success of the pilot branch has led to our engagement in two further pilot branches that have now opened in Leichhardt NSW July 2019 and Carlton VIC Dec 2019, each aimed at a different segments in the market and both performing equally as well as the first. Interestingly, the bespoke way in which we approach each community has led to a whole new way of approaching network strategy, i.e. by community health not demographic.