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Professors B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore published their groundbreaking book “The Experience Economy” in 1998. In it, they described an emerging stage of our economic development where “experiences” or “memories” become the essential product offering of all businesses. Twenty years ago, this prediction seemed so outlandish, particularly for retail financial services, that its implications for retail branch networks were unimaginable.

Over the intervening years, technological and market forces have conspired to level the competitive landscape, turning financial products, services and even processes into interchangeable commodities. As predicted by Pine and Gilmore, the experience economy requires industry leaders to reinvent the experience of banking in order to meaningfully differentiate one financial retailer from another:

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