Allen International to take Erste Bank brand in retail direction

Allen International has been appointed to the €500 000 (£338 000) project to overhaul the brand and interiors of Erste Bank, one of the largest banks in Central and Eastern Europe.

The consultancy begins work this week on the development of a ‘branch of the future’ that will be applied to Erste Bank’s entire branch network, which includes 150 sites in Austria, where the company’s headquarters are based.

Allen International was appointed to the project following a five-way credentials presentation with two local and two international consultancies.

‘We will be looking at the brand image and brand interiors, which will probably move in a retail, rather than a banking, direction; this is what many of the banks are doing, each with its own strategy. This is really a look at Erste Bank’s strategy,’ explains Allen International chairman Mike Allen.

The bank’s communications materials will also be redesigned by the consultancy, although the bank’s primary marque is likely to remain.

‘The bank’s identity starts and stops outside the branches at present; inside could be any bank in the world,’ says Allen.

‘They have conducted separate research into their brand values, which we are going to communicate in branch,’ he adds.

Erste Bank operates approximately 1500 branches across Europe, and a key objective of Allen International’s work is that elements of the designs can be retro-fitted into this network, cost-effectively.

The consultancy has previously created branch concepts for Disbank in Turkey and Banco Português de Investimento in Portugal.

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