Capital One may be best known for their “what’s in your wallet?” commercials, but in Harvard Square, they are also known for their coffee. In an effort to reach consumers where they are, the banking giant runs a community space and café where people are able to use wi-fi, get coffee, and relax. It has an ATM but is not a traditional bank branch (although there are Capital One ambassadors available to answer banking or financial literacy questions). And while non-customers are welcome, Capital One account holders receive 50% off café purchases — quite the incentive for regulars.

When Starbucks envisioned a “third space” between home and work, I don’t think they expected competition from Capital One. But a wise marketer realized Harvard Square was a mecca for young customers-to-be who like coffee and need a place to hang out and suddenly banking via a café setting emerged.

Think about where prospective clients of yours may be and consider whether there is an innovative way to reach them through an intermediary environment. If your audience doesn’t come to you directly, maybe you’d be wiser to go to them.

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