Smart Financial

HOUSTON, TEXAS – Since 2011, Nova has worked with Smart Financial (SFCU) to develop and implement a retail program and has, so far, treated seven of its branches. SFCU prides itself on providing banking experiences that are admired for its employees, performance and innovation. To connect members with this mission, Nova created an engaging retail program that infuses SFCU’s fun brand personality while complementing its multi-channel marketing efforts. The program debuted in their newly constructed 2510 North Loop West location and became the template for subsequently treated branches.

"(Nova) truly captures the spirit of the…brand while creating an atmosphere that is fresh, innovative and different than anything we have done in any of our branches before.”

Susan Chapman
SFCU VP, Marketing Strategy

Nova collaborates closely with SFCU’s marketing team led by VP of Marketing Strategy, Susan Chapman, who remarked: “I am very impressed with how they truly capture the spirit of the Smart Financial brand while creating an atmosphere that is fresh, innovative and different than anything we have done in any of our branches before.” After identifying the essence of SFCU’s culture, Nova created a palette of environmental graphics, drive-up treatments, and signature walls that incorporate local imagery, brand imagery and statements. With each project, Nova calls upon this palette to create elements that work in each space.

Nova has since developed and implemented the retail program for five more branches: three existing and two expansion (including one “Express Branch”) plus SFCU’s new Corporate Headquarters.

Express Branch

To lead the way in new ideas in banking, SFCU asked Nova to help create their first, compact cashless branch in Spring, TX, just outside Houston. Using Nova’s own “Express Branch” concept, is designed to optimize operational efficiency in a compact space, the combination of technology and human interaction serves multiple member segments.

“The member response to this innovative and interactive approach has been very positive. Our staff and membership have embraced this new way of doing business,” remarks the Spring branch’s manager Chris Conway, “Members walk right up to the machines without hesitation and transactions have been very smooth.”

After thoughtful research and with their years of expertise in operations and design, Nova created the Express Branch solution to help financial institutions remain agile and competitive as the industry changes.

Corporate Headquarters

In 2014, SFCU moved its headquarters to a newly purchased, Silver LEED Certified building. Nova based the treatment of the three floors on work rolled out into the other branches, adding elements to promote the brand to employees as well as iconic signature pieces.