Besides offering customer services, the branch office also serves as the “house” of the brand. For the end customer, it is the place where a bank or savings bank can be experienced. The values that an institute represents, which often relate to locality, reliability or innovation, help customers identify with their bank. They must therefore find their place in the branch environment.
Even beyond the financial world, it is evident that the branch office represents an important channel for the brand and for customer loyalty. In the meantime, online players have discovered the offline location as a marketing channel for their business. The online retail giant Amazon, for example, said it would significantly expand its Amazon GO branch network by 2021 and operate a total of 3,000 shops in the United States alone and is “thinking about opening stores in German pedestrian zones”.
Other internet giants like Alibaba and Tencent have also recognized the potential of an offline presence and are building up a network of stores.