Re-envisioning the online experience to attract an entirely new customer base.

Building loyalty and credibility with a new online experience

Case Study

Helping First Citizen’s Bank

Build Loyalty

With current Customers and prove credibility

to new ones.

First Citizens Bank’s goal is to provide the same personalized support you get from a small community bank, but with the portfolio of products and services you expect from the big guys. To embody both of those distinguishing traits, and bring in a completely different customer demographic, Centerline worked with the bank to redesign their website.

Following customer research and an audit of the website, we transformed the product-centric web experience to an entirely customer-centric one.

The new website provided helpful content that the target audience demanded through a user-friendly experience, allowing First Citizens Bank to build trust and credibility with new customers.

Although the bank serves customers of all ages, they were determined to focus on millennials as a main target. Why?

  • Studies show millennials are customers who will choose a bank and likely stick with them for the long haul.
  • Many are at an age where they’re beginning to experience stability in their life as they’ve acquired and saved some money.
  • They’re looking to buy their first home, wanting to build wealth, saving for retirement and paying off debt.

We surveyed 100+ people of this specific demographic to learn their banking habits and the questions that they’ve asked their bank. With the responses, we built user personas to guide messaging and design choices, as well as help us provide the right information to identified customer groups.

Overview: Retail Personas

First Citizens Bank can help this audience form a better financial future – but first, the company needed to prove their ability to provide powerful products and services that directly relate to those needs.

How did we do this?

Performing a content audit

The website was overloaded with choice, but lacked material on actual solutions. Pages were overly informational about products, but not about how they could actually help solve a problem. Overall, the website was too product-centric and not focused enough on the solutions provided by First Citizens Bank.


Creating a learning center

Website close upWebsite close up

Another part of our research was looking at competitors to identify how they build trust and credibility with their audiences.

All that research lead us to the key strategy of providing value to both current and potential customers by creating a learning center that provided them with the educational content they demanded.

We wrote many articles—on subjects like “how to save for retirement” and “five key things to know about paying off student loans”—that answered the questions our personas would ask their bank.

Creating an effective information architecture

Benefits of the new IA design:

  • Resolved the issue of hidden pages so that usability and readability would be improved.
  • Created a more effective user interface, which included a drop-down navigation with both First Citizens Bank products as well as more customer-centered information.
  • Integrated customer-focused questions and needs.
  • Takes advantage of cross-selling opportunities.
  • Guides users through various areas of the website instead of keeping them in one silo.
Information architecture


The website redesign balances the bank’s small town service feel with a presentation of their powerful banking tools.

First Citizens Bank is now providing value to both existing and prospective customers, as their website highlights the products and services that millennials and other people are seeking from banks.

The learning center is integrated throughout the website, making useful content easy to find and connecting various information seamlessly.

Ultimately, the redesign is helping First Citizens Bank continue to build loyalty with current customers and prove their credibility to new ones.