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Case study: Redefining a transformational banking idea

BNZ’s Out of the Box (OOTB) system pioneered a new way of merchandising a growing array of banking products and starting conversations in the bank’s retail branches.

A key tenet of the Bank of New Zealand’s philosophy is to offer customers ongoing innovation to meet their banking needs.

Launched in 2006, BNZ’s Out of the Box (OOTB) system pioneered a new way of merchandising a growing array of banking products and starting conversations in the bank’s retail branches (called ‘stores’). As revolutionary as it was for banking, the system took its lead from other retailers, notably by ‘ranging’ products on the floor in boxes. By making banking more tangible, BNZ offers
a whole new way for customers to interact with its products. The bank has also transformed the way its people sell its products – maximising return on its retail space.

After several years of live trial, BNZ wanted to take the concept to the next level. This involved reassessing the OOTB value proposition and aligning the delivery – building a solid platform for future revenue growth as well as customer and staff engagement. The key performance indicators for the project included sales per staff member per week, sales per customer/staff interaction, and staff and customer engagement measures.

Discovered and defined
To enhance the OOTB offer in the minds of customers, DNA engaged in a series of in-depth customer discussions and retail benchmarking research exercises. The DNA insight team was looking for insights that would enable them to define the new offer: mapping the OOTB experience to determine which aspects of the current offer weren’t adding value for the customer; what was leveraged and what could be; and aspects that could be added to the system. The next step was to look at the store experience to map customer in-store journeys and how the OOTB merchandising could be optimised.

The discovery and definition work resulted in a number of fundamental delivery changes to OOTB. Its primary premise became ‘self-understanding’ – a range of opportunities for customers to start the purchase journey themselves, by using the system. The secondary premise was ‘conversation- enabling’ – speaking both to the benefit for the customer of being able to prepare themselves for a conversation with someone from the bank. And, a corresponding benefit to BNZ, being that store staff can watch a customer browsing the OOTB range and begin a relevant and timely conversation from this observation.

The structure of the packaging system was expanded to include kits (centred on life events) and guides (mastering tasks) as well as simplified product snapshots. In-store merchandising was refocussed into a core range of location and ‘off-location’ promotional plinths. The systems content and design was centred on the four customer focus pillars.

At a personal level
OOTB is grounded in the concept of commercial intimacy, where BNZ is using the system to enable more personalised, bespoke engagement for each customer. The customer can come into the system a number of ways depending on their mindset or needs, and they can completely ‘DIY’ or speak to a banker while using the system. Since the relaunch in New Zealand, development of the OOTB offer is continuing in both BNZ and NAB Australia. This includes evolving a unified, cross-channel OOTB experience and integration of the product with sales training processes.