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Bold Reinvention. Impactful Results.

Redefining Growth at Wasatch Peaks Credit Union

The Challenge

Bold reinvention is one of the qualities that really sets Wasatch Peaks Credit Union apart from its competition. A few years prior to engaging with our LEVEL5 team, a Wasatch Peak merger resulted in three distinct local credit unions becoming one cohesive credit union. This got the Wasatch Peak leadership team thinking about a much needed rebrand. 

With its corporate office located in Ogden, Utah, just north of Salt Lake City, Wasatch Peaks knew that to compete with some of the largest, most established credit unions in the country, it had to stand out in a big way. That’s where we came in. When our collaborative partnership began, their specific goals were to: 

  • create a new branch prototype
  • identify new growth markets with strong loan and deposit potential
  • optimize staff function
  • enhance service delivery and the member experience, and
  • foster membership engagement. 

The Approach

We’ve been leaders in this industry long enough to know that true and lasting transformation requires a comprehensive evidence-based approach. From the very beginning, Wasatch Peaks leadership fearlessly embraced partnering with our team to reimagine every aspect of its credit union to achieve their goals. We guided their team through each critical step of our process–strategy, tech blueprint, ste selection, design and build, to put its prototype branch in Plain City on a path to predictable and sustainable growth. 

Strategy

In our discovery meeting, we explored which products and services the credit union wanted to offer and which markets they were interested in growing. We really tried to understand who they are now and who they want to be in the future. Through a geographical lens, we took a high-level view of the market. Specifically, we conducted a market matrix analysis to rank performance characteristics across the markets of their field of membership to identify those that warranted further investigation.

Having been the industry leader in developing market strategies for financial institutions for over two decades, we know precisely which characteristics are most likely to foster growth.

After that, together with Wasatch Peaks, our team did a deep dive into a few promising new markets. We explored everything from commuter patterns, product and service demand, technology preferences, staffing requirements, branch type, local demographics and more.

We then put boots on the ground to confirm the insights that we had extracted from the data. We looked at everything from which grocery stores and major retailers were located within the specific trade area, to what the competition looked like in that area. We also explored how business was done and what the market demand would be for credit unions locally.

In the final step of the strategy phase, we conducted a loan and deposit forecast to give the Wasatch Peaks team a reliable sense of what to expect regarding how much that branch could produce in terms of ROI forecasted out over a 10-year period. This allowed Wasatch Peaks leaders to accurately predict how long it would take to recover its startup expenses and earn money. Being able to accurately understand their true market potential equipped us to create a custom and actionable roadmap to support their vision and unlock their success at their Plain City prototype branch. 

Photo through a colored glass window of business people talking
Photo of small town buildings in the winter with snow on the roofs

Tech Blueprint

We asked the Wasatch Peaks team about how they envisioned serving members and supporting employees.

With their vision in mind, we leveraged our understanding of core technology and our relationships with middleware providers to identify and implement cutting-edge solutions that truly optimized every aspect of their business.

We introduced cash recyclers, digital signage, two-way video and other complimentary solutions to streamline operations and elevate member experiences. Our team validated integration timelines, delivery logistics, deployment and training and much more to automate and optimize certain processes to give staff the freedom to move beyond a transactional approach and focus on member service.

A woman using her laptop leaning on a window to a dark server room

Site Selection

Relying on the focal points derived from the market analysis, we began the process of identifying, acquiring and purchasing the best site for the Wasatch Peaks Credit Union’s prototype branch in Plain City.

We provided them with an “all-in” site acquisition cost and a single point of contact to guide them through the entire process.

As we began investigating the market for the optimal site, we determined the best property for them wasn’t for sale. Our team veiled Wasatch Peaks’ identity throughout the process and seamlessly converted a ground lease to a purchase deal. 

A sign that reads "Welcome to Utah. Life Elevated"

Design

There’s a saying in the design world–design solves a problem, everything else is just decoration. Every single decision made during the design process promoted Wasatch Peaks’ vision and goals.

Each choice was based on our evidence-based, holistic process.

We totally reimagined the prototype branch. We did away with dark, compartmentalized, antiquated spaces and designed bright, open and modern environments that feel welcoming, flexible and a part of the community

An open lobby meeting area

Build

Prior to the partnership with LEVEL5, Wasatch Peaks had to manage the construction process themselves, so we were thrilled to show them the difference of working with a partner that acted as a true extension of their team.

From the first idea to the final brick, we managed all the details, which put their leadership team at ease.

Through 24-7 client portal access and consistent budget and schedule reviews, they got to focus on running the credit union.

Photo of Wasatch Peaks Credit Union building

Results

In the end, our team delivered a functional work of art that moved away from a traditional, transactional environment to a truly innovative, collaborative space for employees, members and the community. The results have been incredible. Since the prototype in Plain City, we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with the Wasatch Peaks team on 7 different projects, which include the following:

  • Plain City – new build – Plain City, UT
  • HQ Building – major renovation – Ogden, UT
  • Corporate Jr. Call Center – major renovation of Carl’s Jr. Building – Ogden, UT
  • Roy branch – major renovation & minor addition – Roy, UT
  • Pleasant View branch – interior renovation – Pleasant View, UT
  • West Haven branch – interior renovation – West Haven, UT, and
  • 12th Street branch – interior renovation – Ogden, UT.

It’s been a joy to empower Wasatch Peaks Credit Union leaders on their journey to incredible growth. We’ve got more projects with them on the horizon, and we can’t wait to see Wasatch Peaks reach their full potential.