They definitely don’t bank like they used to. With millennials choosing to do most of their banking online, the financial services industry is scrambling for ways to engage this elusive demographic. First National Bank, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., responded to the challenge with a new open concept, nearly cashless branch near the campus of Penn State University in State College. The bank brought in Adrenaline to plan and design the branch.

The complexities of serving millennials are well known. They are skeptical of the financial industry, choose to bank online, don’t visit branches and are unsure in their understanding of banking and personal finances.

FNB has a great opportunity to combat that – a 1,500 square foot branch with a prime location on one of the busiest intersections in State College. During move in week, campus is flooded with more than 34,000 students. FNB wanted a “college branch” built to meet their needs. The bank interviewed students to better understand how they prefer to bank and Adrenaline translated that feedback into a strategy.


This location operates on a reduced footprint, uses a universal banker concept and features interactive teller machines. Due to student preference and the prominence of the location, Adrenaline designed the branch to maximize customer engagement by projecting localized content, as well as FNB brand messaging, to the many students walking by.

Adrenaline provided schematic strategy and space planning, store conceptualization and design and development of all interior finishes. The agency also did the millwork, furniture and brand features and implementation and installation.

Although Adrenaline approaches each strategy with fresh eyes, the agency has plenty of experience designing student branches and tapped into that knowledge to deliver a design that appropriately pulls from best practices and the specific needs of FNB’s State College customers.

Adrenaline capitalized on the site’s highly trafficked corner location and maximized the retail windows to develop a glowing brand beacon that’s striking both during the day and night.


A giant, outward-projecting digital monitor and high-impact digital soffit go beyond traditional brand and promotional executions. They can be updated in real-time to highlight local events and news.

Inside the branch, the layout invites customers to learn and interact with new technology. The space is adaptable and can be reconfigured for educational seminars and community events. A full-wall community calendar shows FNB’s community involvement and college spirit. FNB is using this new branch as a learning lab, testing assumptions and technologies for future branch applications.


FNB, which opened the branch in August, is thrilled with the new space. “We are so happy with the results,” the bank says. “Adrenaline helped us grow in terms of our thinking on the branch of the future and our student customers in State College are reaping the benefits.”