Long Live the Branch

by La Macchia Group

Over the last few years, the role of traditional brick-and-mortar branches has been a topic of debate. Self-proclaimed ‘experts’ continue to state that the branch is dead. While the stats are true, this claim does not take branch closures, acquisitions, or mergers into consideration. Additionally, overall branch activity for many of our clients is being reported as positive, and we see this as a growing trend in the industry.

With these changes in the branch network, it is more important than ever to leverage data to make smart, strategic decisions about how you’re positioned within your markets. In this blog post, we will delve into our whitepaper ‘Long Live the Branch’, which goes over the strategic considerations that financial institutions need to face in order to maintain a successful branch.

The Past: Looking Backwards to Move Forward

If you want to move forward and grow your market share, it is often most appropriate to look backwards and analyze and understand your organization’s recent history first. You can leverage data from the last 5-10 years to make informed decisions about your branch. Analyzing past trends, consumer behaviors, and market dynamics provides a solid foundation for strategic planning.

The Present: Understanding the Here & Now

Moving from past analysis to the present, financial institutions must conduct a detailed evaluation of their current position, consumers, facilities, and competition. Each of these should be individually assessed through the lens of the respective markets they are in. Pulling in all that data should start to paint a picture of your organization’s performance, consumer profile and market positioning. The current state analysis tells you where you are strong, where you are vulnerable, and where you should focus your efforts in your future strategic planning.

The Future: What Lies Ahead

With a comprehensive understanding of past trends and the current state of your financial institution, you can now look at the future and focus on developing a strategic plan. While this plan will ultimately be specific to your organization and its needs, there are several components that should be included in it. For starters, it is important to set goals, evaluate all components of the strategic plan and leverage data for decision-making.

A good strategic plan should consider your past, current situation and desired future of your organization. Adapting to change, understanding consumer needs, and leveraging data for strategic decision-making are some of the key elements in ensuring continued success. With a strategic plan set in place, physical branches can thrive and remain a crucial component in service offerings to most consumers. 

As we navigate the future of banking, one thing is clear: Long live the branch! For more information, download the full ‘Long Live the Branch’ whitepaper here.

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