As I walked by windows with Marvel-inspired superhero characters, I stopped to read their talk-bubbles: “strengthen your savings, power your financial quest, be the hero of your money, be one with your budget.”
The top-line message here is that you can be your own fiscal superhero.
The sign read, Capital One Cafe with Peet’s Coffee. But was it a bank branch or a cafe? I asked myself, passing by this sign yesterday morning at the corner of Walnut and 18th Streets in center city Philadelphia.
It’s both, as it turned out, and when I entered I found a welcoming, beautifully designed space that was a new-new thing. And really good coffee. In this storefront, the bank allies with Peet’s Coffee to create a space meant for banking, recharging, learning and hanging out.
There are nearly thirty such cafes around the US, in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington State.
You can meet the Cafe Ambassador, who is akin to the Genius Bar concierge that provides an on-ramp to financial services you might need or want: a new savings or checking account, a home or auto loan, or perhaps a credit card.
Then there’s a sign inviting you to book an appointment for money coaching, a free one-on-one meet-up where a consumer can learn about their personal financial personality and get tips to achieve financial goals.
That financial wellness theme extends to the cafe itself, where Capital One cardholders can buy their brew for 50% off retail price. On special event days, Cap One “members” can get free coffee and snacks, too; some of the events coming up at the Philadelphia branch included “Spend Smarter, How to Get More for Your Money;” “Building Your Savings;” and, “Navigating Life’s Twists and Turns.”
Here’s the video of the Capital One Cafe experience:
Health Populi’s Hot Points: Financial health is part of peoples’ overall definition of health and well-being. Healthcare costs are now the top pocketbook issue for American families, as higher health care costs bring stress and, with it, health risks for gut, heart, and mental health.
Traditional healthcare stakeholders have begun to recognize the importance of design for health, from the hospital waiting and inpatient rooms to the enchantment of health apps and tools and beautifully designed “hearables” to aid people with hearing deficits, and an easy to understand the explanation of benefits like that shown here from a recent Mad*Pow’s project on re-imagining the patient’s medical bill journey with Geisinger.
Capital One’s messaging in the Cafe inspires empowerment, conversation, education, community, and fun. Finance and fun? You bet.
These are elements that healthcare can learn from and emulate.