Best-in-class retailers give consumers incredible in-store experiences. Why can’t a best-in-class bank do the same?

The Story

The business strategy we developed for RBC was driven by a keen understanding of what makes great retailers so great. Consumers crave experiences that reflect who they are and who they want to be; the best stores are those that present this possibility to them—not just products. While retailers had evolved significantly to meet consumer expectations, bank branches had largely remained the same.

Our challenge to RBC was to think about their business like a best-in-class retailer, and their clients like shoppers—never underestimating the importance of the customer relationship. They accepted, even beginning meetings throughout their organization with a rallying cry about the change we were on a mission to create: “Banking is like shopping…and I like it!”

RBC Bank of the Year 2020
This framework drove decisions from marketing to operations to HR, and cascaded throughout the consumer experience. We re-imagined the traditional branch, bringing tellers out from behind the counter and putting previously intangible financial products and services “on display”. We communicated with consumers about their particular life stages and goals, rather than the bank’s lines of business. And we drove a format strategy that was the first of its kind in Canadian banking, providing different experiences at the right locations to reassure consumers that RBC understands all of their changing needs.
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increase in competitive rating
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increase in customer experience scores

Our business strategy for RBC facilitated a thoughtful evolution of their organization that allowed them to continue delivering on their brand promise of advice. Twelve years later, we remain as committed as ever to RBC’s goal of ensuring the financial wellbeing of all Canadians.

12 year relationship


Our breadth of expertise means you have a fully invested, strategic partner with you at every step. Take a look at how we can deliver impact across all aspects of your business and brand expression.

Believe in a


Believe in the idea that design without strategy will lead you nowhere.

Believe in a


Believe in the idea that your brand is a promise; an expression of commitment to consumers.

Believe in a


Believe in the idea that if you don’t know who your brand is speaking to—or why they should care—your message will be lost.