The challenge for Market Gravity was to help Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks define new boundaries and create new opportunities for both the company – and its customers.

The result was a design-driven banking innovation lab – the first of its kind in the UK. 

Last year, we were incredibly proud to partner with Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks to build and launch, ‘B’ – a digital banking proposition like no other. Together we challenged the accepted and we delighted with the unexpected. We raised the bar, pushed the boundaries and achieved a great high by delivering more to customers.

Fast forward a few months and, thanks to the power of a continuing partnership, we’re back launching another first.

OUR MISSION

Our fast-paced world is home to new needs and great expectations. As our capabilities continue to increase, there’s more opportunity for innovative disruption than ever before – and it can come from anywhere …  

The business’ of the future know, to capitalise on an ever more connected, intelligent and mobile world, that insight and experimentation are vital. That’s why, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks chose to team up once again with Market Gravity, as well as Four-by-Two, one of the UK’s leading architecture, interiors and brand experience design agencies, to create and launch ‘Studio B’.

As the UK’s first design-driven banking innovation lab, Studio B hopes to define new boundaries and create new opportunities for both the company – and its customers.

Studio B, innovation lab, banking innovation lab, customers
Studio B visitors on High Street Kensington, London

THE VISION

Located on Kensington High Street, London, Studio B has opened its doors to the thinkers – to the dreamers, doers, and designers. Working together, their goal is to build the next wave of change and create new experiences that redefine services and customer interactions as we know them. The innovation lab space is both inspiring and functional, it is as much a factory, as it is a showroom – designed to deliver, not just to imagine. Studio B will bring to life today, the products that we’ll desire tomorrow.

Studio B, banking, innovation lab
Studio B, banking, innovation lab

THE CONCEPT

This innovation lab is more than just an innovation theatre. The design process made us ask the difficult questions. We were determined to avoid the common traps that innovation labs often fall into; a lack of strategy, clear KPIs and a preference for PR over true commercial value and impact.

Careful consideration and consultation was given not just to functional setup, but for the human-centred aspects that truly matter – culture, purpose and shared values. Studio B is both an independent and integrated environment.

The lab’s purpose is to drive real business impact through actionable, customer-led ideas. Visitors will be invited and encouraged to take part in short design sprints to apply their perspective to its challenges – working with and designing technology to meet the needs of the next generation. All the team inside Studio B subscribe to a lean, agile process that enables ideas to be brought back into the bank and delivered back out with speed.

There are also banking facilities and self-service branch technology to give visitors an immersive experience while allowing them to carry out practical banking activities using new technology.

Conceptual sketches
Studio B, innovation labs, banking,
Studio B, banking, innovation lab
Studio B, banking, innovation lab

DELIVERING UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

Through the exploration of voice recognition, AI, VR, IoT, blockchain and other innovative technologies, Studio B promises to deliver truly unique experiences – engaging people through events and ongoing activities that will enable us to explore opportunities across retail, creative and interactive platforms.

Working to an agile methodology, Studio B programs will run in month cycles. This will include two weeks of involvement from young design thinkers, core sessions with consumers, involvement from product partnerships, ideation, concept building, customer co-creation, design, prototyping and of course rigorous testing.

PURPOSEFUL IMPACT

Helen Page, Group Innovation and Marketing Director from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks says:

“We wanted to create the next generation of banking services delivered by the next generation of users. Studio B is our way of reaching out to identify their challenges within banking and to draw out creative and innovative ideas for solutions.

“Banking is moving at a fast pace with the development of fintech and our aim is to stay ahead of the game and create concepts and services to prepare us for the future. Innovation development usually takes place behind closed doors and customers only see the finished product once it’s live.

“We’re flipping this on its head and are actually inviting the public to work with us on ideas for new ways of working and, through this, we’re aiming to understand our customers even deeper and create products to suit today’s, and tomorrow’s, changing lifestyles”.

For more information about B, visit the website here.

Reflecting on the project

Helen Page
Group Innovation & Marketing Director

“With the development and launch of our super smart banking services ‘B’ in 2016, and now Studio B, Market Gravity continue to be a brilliant partner. Their experience in banking innovation and disruptive new propositions perfectly complements the ambition and creativity within Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.”

Nick Sherrard
Managing Director Edinburgh

“It’s exciting to see the concept of Studio B come to life and it’s great to work with such a forward–thinking team bringing disruption and innovation to the banking sector. We’ll be exploring voice recognition, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Internet of Things, blockchain and other innovations set to disrupt the sector even further. Exciting times ahead!”

Let's chat 

Are you thinking of setting up an innovation lab? Or want to know how to get more from an existing one? We can help. Email nick.sherrard@marketgravity.com or call the Market Gravity office that’s closest to you – London, Edinburgh, New York or Toronto. Contact details below.

Email Nick