How do you make a small branch on a busy corner really “pop”? Wachovia did it in Dallas. I wasn’t looking for another Wachovia branch to highlight — but when I was in Dallas last week I passed this busy intersection and was struck with how this small branch dominated the corner from every direction.
Wachovia’s problem was a common one. This location was already built up, and there was little space for a traditional branch. It was hard for me to tell whether they built a small branch to fit the site, or “creatively re-purposed” an existing building. Either way, the good news was they got the corner. The bad news was it was the building was small and easy to miss.
I don’t know how Wachovia got away with it, but they built a high wall behind the branch as an architectural element. It had the net impact of obscuring the strip mall behind them and creating billboard-like signage in all directions. Whatever direction you were headed, all you saw was Wachovia.
How effective was it in dominating this location? This was prime real estate and I wondered why no other banks had branches there. When I went back for a second look I found 3 other banks — I just couldn’t see them initially because they were obscured by the retail clutter.
I’m not suggesting Wachovia will win architectural awards for design. But we build branches for customer convenience, and it makes sense to do what we can to make it easy for them to find us.
So hats off to Wachovia for trying something different — and for dominating their corner instead of building just another hard-to-see urban branch.
View from the corner.