Gone are the days of bland, beige bank branches that only performed the standard transactional financial functions. When First Financial came to WD Partners with the desire to further engage the community and strengthen is local business relationships, we realized there was only one thing to do: Un-think the bank.
First Financial wanted to shake up the status quo and create a banking experience unlike any other, so we were happy to take on the challenge of designing a new brand identity along with a small-branch space that would promote product awareness and provide convenient banking for the local neighborhood and its businesses. As a company that was founded in Cincinnati, it only made sense to connect the city’s rich history with that of the First Financial brand to establish them as a local bank to trust in the heart of Cincinnati’s financial district.
Our main goal was to get First Financial in front of consumers; prior to this project, FFB’s headquarters space was tucked away in a tower a couple blocks over, with very little visibility to their brand and branch experience, and no visibility to their entertainment space and offices. As a company that is close to the community, we wanted to help FFB speak that language by emphasizing that community interest with a space for hospitality and standard banking transactions alike. We sought to create a workspace that inspires and encourages collaboration, yet still offered privacy when needed. And lastly, we aimed to attract new business and talent while still “wowing” current clientele.
So, we got to work. In order to meet First Financials needs, we proposed a highly visible central “community” area where clients could attend seminars, classes, larger events, or even hang out and enjoy a beverage. The large, multi-use spaces would make First Financial a hub for both work and play in the local area, encouraging collaboration and communication among different lines of business. We also included private areas that would also provide discretion when needed.
We are proud to have had a hand in creating such a revolutionary space that totally took the boring out of banking. It promotes trust and provides a connected way to both work and socialize with clients, reaffirming the brand’s position as a modern financial resource in the heart of Cincinnati. The spaces new design feels truly iconic and connected, empowering customers and associates to seamlessly build relationships grounded in transparency and expertise. The best part? It put First Financial right where it wanted to be: branched out, right in the center of the local community.