De Ruimte: concept development and name for community store

Goal: SNS Bank wants to conquer a place in society by means of a community store.

Questions: what implementation concept engages people and what language allows for lifelong relationships?

Mortgage interest relief, child benefit, self-employed status and pension accrual – in The Netherlands these are all recurring hot topics at the average neighborhood BBQ or birthday party. It often feels liberating to ‘just spar’ with others about how they manage their financial affairs regarding births, removals, marriages, etc.  However, between the grill sausages and the cheese cubes there tends to be a lack of clarity, consistency, a professional view or objective advice. Sometimes, this just causes only more confusion. Without doubt, there is a need to spar with professionals. How could a consumer bank like SNS Bank somehow take part in these every day talks?

By speaking the right language!

And not only via digital channels, but also simply, commonly, face-to-face. SNS Bank’s mission of ‘banking on a human scale’ is to think along with the wallets of ordinary Dutch people. This means that they approach the financial services around important life-events in a human way, but also stand by when things are not going well. Building lifelong customer relationships is best done in real-life. By means of a physical place – the community store, SNS Bank wants to give society that they are always there for them in a new, surprising way.  That is where they offer clear advice, the right (trans)action, an objective view, and always always in a human way and without obligations. Just sparring, like on neighbor Jill’s birthday.

Challenge: How do you ensure that people enter into dialogue with the bank in a relaxed manner? How do you ensure interaction between the bank and society?

Globrands was asked to give a conceptual interpretation and to create a suitable name for this community store.

Work to be done: concept development

Based on examples from the market, the briefing and internal concept development, five concepts were presented to our client, based on different perspectives, customer journeys and product/service market combinations. These ranged from a community store where it’s ‘all about the money’ to a place that provides ‘the ultimate us-feeling’. Through joint discussion, important conditions for the implementation of the concept have been drawn up:

  • warmth, positivity and creativity arouse interest and lowers barriers
  • the right balance between relaxation and meeting stimulates interaction
  • diversity and flexibility keep people interested.

Main conclusion: the community store is a place where things keep happening.

The name as a signboard

How do you make that clear? By placing the right name on the facade of the store. During the presentation, each concept was provided with a set of lively names, each of which convey the function of a host. From more descriptive names about the function of the store, to proposals that evoke a certain feeling (feeling at home, feeling together, worldly feeling, ‘Fear of Missing Out’). Name proposals based on different aspects of the community store – and all of them feeling accessible, inviting and positive.

Process approach: combination of concept and name proposals provides a sharp context

Presenting concepts in combination with name proposals provides a clear context. This leads to a complete picture, allowing for the right considerations. It became clear in what way and by means of what language, SNS Bank can best serve the needs of the community in their own characteristic way. The actual implementation of the community store and the name that is used, appeared to be very closely interrelated.

Implementation of the concept: “Give people space”.

To remain enticing and accessible as a community store, space is needed. Give people this freedom of movement by letting the bank act as a facilitator. In this way, you give people the space to fulfill the needs they have at any moment. These can vary from occasional workshops on tax returns to recurring yoga classes, or from a permanent book club to changing exhibitions. They may need a comfortable workplace or a cosy coffee place. This is how the bank wants to stimulate interaction and bring banking closer to society.

The name: “De Ruimte” of SNS, which means ‘space’ and ‘room’ at the same time

The chosen name is clear, warm and ‘surprisingly normal’, which means that it is in keeping with the identity of the SNS Bank. In addition, it implies that there is room for action here. Something is happening; it sizzles. This space is infinite, always in development and dynamic. It is flexible, available for rent by external parties and truly part of society. The name gives depth to the concept by its associations with room for thought, breathing room, living room, playing room and, for those who want it, a workspace. The name ensures that everyone with different needs can find their place in the SNS room. And above all, there is always room for a good conversation about money matters, while enjoying a cup of coffee or a nice bit of cheese.