The new physical contact point, which will be positioned as a ‘third place’ other than bank branches and ATMs, will be based on values shaped in parallel with the bank’s vision of being the ‘Bank of the Future’, and will act with a community based on the program.
A participatory platform that produces content that will enable visitors and participants to be inspired and discover new things, creates space for communities with interactive programs by collaborating with existing communities, and allows participants to share and learn in different areas.
How might we develop an inclusive, participatory and sustainable community and programming strategy?
Within the scope of the project carried out by I-AM for Türkiye İş Bankası, it was aimed to reposition the physical touch points of the bank with new roles and concepts, especially by evaluating the changing consumer expectations, digital usage habits, brand values and market dynamics after the pandemic. While trying to find different meanings for physical touch points, customer expectations and life cycles were taken as basis.
After the comprehensive research, strategy and concept design processes carried out by I-AM, it was aimed to build the bank of the future with an inclusive and participatory approach and a sustainable model and to take part in the customers’ life cycle by finding meaning in physical touch points. The main functions were determined under the headings of food and beverage, events, shopping, social benefit, banking and business/career. These functions were distributed within the space layout according to customer needs and expectations, and the space setup was created according to the determined design principles.
An innovative and dynamic space setup was prepared that allows employees to interact with customers through experiences that span different touch points in the space, rather than a transaction-oriented, introverted structure. Beyond the classical banking service model, an extraordinary visitor journey was designed that responds to customers’ lifestyles and expectations while making their lives easier. The space was prepared with a modern and simple approach, where shopping, socializing, event participation and working functions are intertwined with each other, and can be transformed according to changing needs thanks to the modular design approach.
Following these studies carried out by I-AM, we started working to create İş Mekan’s community and programming strategy. We offered an approach that would move from the customer to the community and from there to community-oriented programming, with the program at its core. Our approach suggested turning customers into audiences and audiences into active participants, offering content in different formats and focus areas based on the scope, encouraging the brand to enable interaction and connection, and a community of all people coming together around the program.
As a first step within the scope of the project, a situation analysis was conducted. Within the scope of the situation analysis, changing consumer expectations, digital usage habits, brand values and market dynamics were analyzed. As a result of this analysis, four main issues were included as input into the strategic design approach.
In recent years, many spaces have either lost their main function or gained different functions. At a point where homes are turning into workspaces, offices are closing or downsizing, and cafes are changing their functions; the trend towards mixed-function ‘third spaces’ should be inspected. Why and how users choose digital technologies, tools and channels should be evaluated as input in different ways. Türkiye İş Bankası’s core values, should be read and addressed together with the bank’s aims of ‘Contributing to Sustainability’, ‘Creating Social Awareness’, ‘Supporting the Economy’ and ‘Facilitating Commercial Life’. Factors affecting the market and changing consumption behaviors, as well as market dynamics, should be evaluated as dynamic and multi-layered.
Content and Programming Analysis
In addition to the situation analysis, content and programming analysis was conducted to guide the community and programming strategy. In this context, we have collected data from both Türkiye İş Bankası employees and individuals which are suitable for İş Mekan’s target audience, regarding the content they produced and consumed. The main themes that emerged were identified, grouped and linked. The types of events that individuals prefer to participate in, the channels they prefer for content consumption, and the topics they are curious about or interested in were researched.
Additionally, the contents and events organized, produced and/or sponsored by Türkiye İş Bankası and its subsidiaries were analyzed. Contents categorized under the focus of entrepreneurship, technology/innovation, arts&culture, social benefit and sustainability were analyzed according to participation and location, and placed in a matrix on social/professional and serial/singular levels. It was noteworthy that the bank had scattered efforts regarding sustainability and did not produce any content or activities in the field of ‘finance’, although it is their core.
A detailed research was conducted within the scope of the project. One-on-one interviews were held with 7 people. During these interviews, information and insights were obtained about people’s daily life habits, the different communities and rituals they participate in, the events and programs they attend, the content they produce and consume, and the current issues and topics they focus on. With over 100 responses to the survey sent to Türkiye İş Bankası customers, insights were obtained in the areas of community involvement, event participation and content production/consumption. In addition, information was obtained about the communities in which the participants would like to be involved and the events they would like to participate in.
Within the scope of the comparison analysis, venues from around the world and from Turkey, which were established or owned by an institution and whose areas of activity, content and program cannot be directly or indirectly associated with the institution/brand, were examined. Documents such as Türkiye İş Bankası’s activity report and sustainability report, as well as research and trend reports, and future/insight studies prepared by different institutions globally were examined. In addition, content regarding globally prominent trends regarding communities and events was scanned.
Solo actor, sidekick or social butterfly? Which one are you?
With the data obtained in the research, we moved on to the strategic design step. In this step, we first determined the design principles, created the value proposition focused on the community and program, developed programming principles and application suggestions, made suggestions about the architectural reflections of the programs in the space, and developed an approach to the formation of the community and programming team.
Based on the design principles of social, accessible and flexible; we created programming principles under the headings of community, brand, participant and content. The principles of ‘Make space for different communities and producers.’, ‘Use the potential of the brand wisely.’, ‘Be participatory and inclusive.’ and ‘Focus on discovery and inspiration.’ guided the program design and curation.
We created the curatorial approach for the program based on strategic design. We suggested the title ‘Creative Communities, New Discoveries’, where İş Mekan would offer a program that grows together with the creative communities and content producers around it, learns from each other, and prioritizes new discoveries and inspiration. While making this proposal, we intended to bring together communities and content producers who would develop and inspire people, establish meaningful connections with İş Bankasi’s values, and make İş Mekan a living place.
Contributing to people’s individual and professional development and producing content that will inspire them, making İş Bank’s core values and sustainability goals visible to participants and allowing them to connect, being a dynamic and flexible place that allows different usage scenarios, paves the way for participation, and staying up to date with events and interactions offered by emerging creative local communities and independent content producers were determined as our main goals.
We identified three program themes that underlie the main curatorial approach. We planned that all events to be organized would fall within the scope of these themes. ‘Investment in the Future’, which offers a simple touch to the fields of individual financial health, investment consultancy and professional development; ‘City, Memory, Culture’, which creates a space to celebrate the city’s creativity, collective memory and diversity of the city, and ‘Current, New and Different’, which opens a suitable space to look at the agenda, current issues and trends from different perspectives and get inspired.
Within the scope of the Investment in the Future theme, we created case presentations containing information for individual financial health, different product and service promotions for investment consultancy, and inspiring talks and panels in areas such as 21st century competencies, gig economy, and creator economy. Within the scope of the theme of City, Memory and Culture, we have developed talks and panels focusing on various elements of local culture and collective memory, neighborhood meetings that celebrate and support local production, multi-sensory experiences and walks that approach the neighborhood and memory from a different perspective. For the theme of Current, New and Different, we have prepared talks and workshops that allow a close look at trends, ‘food for thought’ sessions, discussions that focus on current issues and collide perspectives, and circles that create space for those who pursue the ‘new’ in the creation and production process.
As of March 14, a total of 38 events were held at İş Mekan, including 15 children’s events and 3 special events. A total of 683 event participants attended the events at İş Mekan.
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