An article in the Nov/Dec issue of Sales & Marketing Management highlighted a small bank who completely changed the appearance of their branches in order to compete with their large competitors. As we all know, most banks have pretty much the samem utilitarian look.
This company (Umqua Bank) has comfortable lounging chairs, Internet access, and areas where people can listen to music. They have also started referring to their branches as stores. And they tend to hire people with a retail background instead of financial expertise. Plus, they sell CD's of local musicans and hold concerts from time-to-time to attract younger clientele.
Their strategy seems to be working. Wwhen they embarked on this strategy, they had 6 locations and $150 million in deposits. Twelve years later they boast 130 stores and over $7 billion in deposits. This is remarkable!
They have managed to accomplish what most retailers dream of. Become completely unique in their niche.
What can you do to create your own uniqueness in your niche?