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Environments
Your Branch As Your Superpower, Part I
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by CHELSEA HINKEL

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Insights and highlights from Future Branches about how to maximize growth of your humanized, localized banking channel

New banking data from McKinsey finds that the post-pandemic period in banking will bring the greatest change to the industry since the 2008 financial meltdown. While the report finds a building divergence between banking’s innovators and the laggards struggling to keep up, there is hope to be found amid all that change. “In financial services, we are at a tipping point,” according to Gina Bleedorn, CXO of Adrenaline in her recent presentation at Future Branches. “While things are about to change more and faster than they ever have – with an acceleration of the gap between the haves and have-nots in banking – there is good news, and we’re here to share some of it.”

While the post-COVID emergence period will be disruptive for the industry, it’s a time of great opportunity, as well. In fact, McKinsey finds that a full two-thirds of banking value is generated during the first two years of a post-crisis recovery. “But before you panic that you need to decide your future fate in two years,” according to Gina Bleedorn. “McKinsey also says there is – yes, disruption – but also that we are about to enter a golden era for strategic decision making.” Accenture looks at it as financial institutions embracing the challenger mindset, finding leverage points to help differentiate themselves. The branch is one of those differentiators. 

“The coming years will be disruptive in banking, but they can also be a “golden era” for strategic decision-making.”

~ Mckinsey, Global Annual Banking Review, December 2021

Branch Visits

percentage of consumers using channels monthly

Despite COVID, branch usage is actually higher in 2021 than pre-pandemic levels. According to Raddon Research, the percentage of people visiting branches is now at 77% and holding steady. So while it’s common knowledge (and to be expected) that mobile banking saw a rising relevance during the pandemic, branch visits were also increasing during that same period, with more people regularly going in than before the pandemic. While it’s easy to write-off these branch visits as coming from more traditional banking customers, it’s actually Millennials and Gen Z driving those increases. In fact, a full 30% of the youngest banking customers say the branch is more important in 2021.

Households Visiting a Branch in the Past Year

That’s why banks can’t close their way to profitability. While it’s true that branch visits have a major influence on consumers in choosing a primary financial services provider, are the branches that most banks have the ones they actually need? The banking industry seems to be clear that they’re not, with 97% of financial institutions reporting they’re redesigning their branches in the next two years to meet consumer demand. In Part II of our series on Your Branch As Your Superpower, we’ll look at the role of data in driving decisions about branch design and network growth.

Future Branches Austin 2021 Deck

For more information on optimizing the branch banking channel, stay tuned to Adrenaline’s Perspective and Believe in Banking as we track the big trends impacting financial services and informing the banking experience. To speak with one of our branch experts, contact us at info@adrenalineagency.com or call (678) 412-6903.


Adrenaline is an experience design agency that creates and implements end-to-end branded experiences through creative and environmental design. We enhance our clients’ customer experiences across digital and physical channels, from their branding and advertising to design and technology in their spaces. After transforming an organization’s brand, Adrenaline extends it across all touchpoints — from employees to the market to in-store environments. And, we focus on serving industries that sell human experiences including financial, healthcare, sports and entertainment.  

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