Bank Interior with people in it
Project Brief

Conduct research and analyze the challenges and opportunities that the Agricultural Bank of China(ABC) faces. Map out a brand strategy for ABC and design multiple consumer touchpoints
to implement the strategy.

Project Timeline

May - Aug 2020
Research, Brand Strategy, Concept Development, App Design

Sept - Dec 2020
Concept Refinement, Branch Design, Branding Video

Team

Echo Zhan
Research + Strategy
Concept Development

Xinyi Shao
Graphic Design
Concept Development

CONTEXT

The financial service industry landscape is rapidly evolving, with two main disruption factors: technology and consumer behavior. Against this backdrop, ABC’s traditional advantages in offline distribution channels weaken while lagging in customer experience.

Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), also known as AgBank, is one of the "Big Four" banks in the People's Republic of China. ABC is known for its extensive branch network and its dedication to supporting "Sannong," which stands for agriculture, rural area, and farmer.

During its 69 years of development, ABC went through four times of canceling and reestablishment. ABC is now ranked third place in the world in terms of tier 1 capital.

We now live in an economy where technologies such as Big Data, AI analytics, and cloud computing are widely applied.

Fierce Competition
Emerging fintech companies are introducing more and more innovative financial services, taking market share, and setting new expectations on financial services.

Big tech’s unfair advantage in data
Big Tech, such as Alibaba, has hoarded many data from their e-commerce and e-payment businesses. These data allow them to provide tailored finance product selection, to have more reference when issuing micro-loans.

Large adoption of FinTech services
FinTech services' adoption has moved steadily upward, from 16% in 2015 to 33% in 2017, to 64% in 2019. China has the highest consumer FinTech adoption rate of 87%.

Consumer's behavior and attitude towards choosing a brand are also changing.

Sustainable Consumptions
Concern about the environment is increasing worldwide. In response, they are increasingly ‘voting with their wallet’ and choosing brands whose values align with their own.

Scenario-based service
Consumers are also getting used to scenario-based services. They expect services to relate to their life more, to be put into context.

Personalization v.s. Data Privacy
Consumer's attitudes towards providing personal data in exchange for convenience and personalization are becoming more positive, especially after COVID-19.

01
02
03
CHALLENGES
In summary, changes in industry and consumer behavior bring three significant challenges for ABC.
How might ABC re-purpose their branches?

Branches are no longer the only channel for consumers to get information and get things done. Especially for the younger generation, people prefer going online.

How might ABC understand their customer better?

Retail banking faces disruption in three areas: e-payments, deposit-like funds, and consumer lending. Banks are losing to tech company's competitive edge of having customer data in their life to provide more personalized service.

How might ABC fulfill social responsibilities in sustainability development?

People are 'voting with their wallet' and choosing brands whose values align with their own. One of the primary criteria is to evaluate the brands' dedication to sustainability development.

ABC VISION 2030
To create a better future for people and the world we live in.
BRAND ATTRIBUTES
01
PERSONALIZED
SUPPORT
Our financial products are designed and categorized into the specific interests and needs of our customers.
02
SOCIALLY
RESPONSIBLE
By supporting sannong and other entrepreneurship projects, we commit to helping society's economic growth and vitality.
03
INCLUSIVE
COMMUNITY
ABC is a bank and a community, including individuals with diverse identities ( age, culture, economic ) where clients can hear different voices and build connections.
04
LONG-TERM
RELATIONSHIP
We cultivate long-standing relationships with our clients, accompanying them to grow and offering reliable support to help them thrive and succeed.
05
INTELLIGENT
SERVICE
We embrace the latest technologies, introducing smart digital services accompanied by our traditional services to provide our clients' best experience.
06
TRANSPARENT
INFORMATION
As a genuine and trustworthy friend, we offer highly transparent and accessible information to address common information asymmetry problems in the finance industry.
Blue Ocean Strategy Canvas
Build trust and create value by offering long-term support for customers’ dreams, and contribute to sustainability.
TOUCHPOINTS
"RESPONSIBLE BANKING"
App
"BANKING AS A GUIDANCE"
Space
"GROW WITH US"
Campaign
RESPONSIBLE BANKING

A banking app that helps people optimize their financial spending and planning.

Carbon Credit

With ABC pocket, transactions are not only labeled with price but also carbon footprint of the activity.

For ABC
For Consumer

Fulfill ABC's social responsibility as a third-party authority figure to nudge consumers making responsible decisions when making purchases.
Puts pressure on other consumer brands to reduce their carbon footprint.

Help people to be aware of the impact of their purchases so that they are able to make educated decisions.
Provide channels for environment-concious user to contribute to the sustainability development.

Make responsible purchasing decisions.
For brands that are part of the ABC "New Price Tag" initiative, customers can see a detailed breakdown of the product's carbon footprint before making a purchase.
Customers will receive a certain amount of green seed in relation to the price and the carbon footprint after making a purchase.

Be aware of your daily impact on the environment
Customers can overview their impact on the environment based on products that they buy and their activities.

They can also choose to donate the accumulated green seeds from these activities.

Contribute to carbon offset projects
Customer can donate their seed to carbon offset projects sponsored by ABC and other brands.

They can also receive vouchers for doing so.

Money Bucket

Money Bucket is a concept of putting money in different conceptual buckets and so that people can manage to use, save, or invest them accordingly.

For ABC
For Consumer

Help ABC to portrait a more vivid image of their client, to understand their needs and aspiration so that ABC can provide personalized recommendations and design tailored finance product for its user.
The money bucket provides monetization opportunities for ABC to establish partnerships based on the scenario.

Help users plan and manage their assets based on their needs instead of forcing them to learn the rule of investment and adapt to it.
To ease the stress of a future full of uncertainty.

Dreams and purposes of each buckets
Customers would define each bucket with their dreams, goals, or perspective future scenarios. Each bucket has a unique set up as either a long term or short term.

More than money
While each bucket holds its dreams and goals in various categories, ABC would recommend relevant financial products and related information and opportunities to connect with people with similar aims.

BANKING AS A GUIDANCE

An offline banking experience that focuses on providing expert financial advising and learning opportunities.

Bank Interior with people in it
Branch Layout
* This specific layout is a case study of remodeling based on an existing ABC branch floorplan.
Employee's role

From Bank Teller to Financial Consultant
As the presencense of cash are vanishing and more and more jobs are getting done with self-service machine and on people’s phone.
We still want to preserve the human presence in a offline banking experience but to act as an expert who can give financial advices instead of just helping you get things done.

Function Units
01
Meet with a financial expert to discuss
your current financial well-being and your future aspirations and get actionable suggestions.
02
Sit by the digital pond and tap on the led
screen with your feet. You can learn about money management in a gamified way.
This could also be a place where speakers are invited to give a talk.
03
Getting things down on a self-service kiosk.
GROW WITH US

A series of campaign celebrating individual’s stories and how ABC plays a supporting role
along the way.

Design process
View full process ↗︎
*This school project may not reflect the views or plans of Agricultural Bank of China*
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