Immersive design and branding agency ShikataniLacroix has announced a joint venture with bank experience authority Next Branch Strategies and bank branding expert Teddy Ma to create SLDNXT; an integrated retail experience strategy and design consultancy with global reach.

SLDNXT leverages consumer psychology, neuroscience, virtual reality, and a deep understanding of retail banking to cut the standard, multi-million-dollar, two-to-three-year retail design process in half, to enable the more agile, iterative development cycles that underlie true innovation.

“I’m thrilled to be teaming up with the groundbreaking designers and strategists at ShikataniLacroix,” said David Faulkner, Managing Director of SLDNXT. “By marrying immersive design with the evolving needs of today’s retail banks, we will help financial institutions create branch experiences that delight consumers and deliver for shareholders.”

SLDNXT stands out in its field for:


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  • Pioneering the blending of behavioral science, augmented reality, virtual reality, and neuroscience to test multiple concepts and understand how consumers emotionally respond to different designs.
  • Forging emotional connections with customers that increase loyalty, share of wallet, and contribution margin.
  • Grounding retail design decisions in science and consumer analytics.
  • Using virtual reality techniques to support the parallel development of standards and practices by a broad range of internal stakeholders.
  • Having an international perspective of the retail banking industry.

“The financial industry is evolving at a rate that would have been hard to imagine even just five years ago,” said Jean-Pierre Lacroix, President of SLDNXT. “Too many banks have been blindsided by the rising tide of fintech and non-traditional banking platforms. SLDNXT will disrupt the disruptors by empowering banks to predict consumer needs and build emotional connections with their customers.

Employing Virtual Reality and Neuroscience
ShikataniLacroix brings to SLDNXT a background in using virtual reality and neuroscience to better understand consumers’ emotional responses to retail experiences. Using electroencephalogram (EEG) headsets, realistic virtual models, and eye tracking technology, the agency has transformed the retail design process.

Applying Deep Banking Experience
Next Branch Strategies brings to SLDNXT a decade of experience in transforming business objectives and enterprise strategies into concrete results delivered in over 5000 bank branches around the globe. Next Branch Strategies specializes in driving cross functional consensus and solution building by leveraging a structured approach based on tested methodologies that include agile, design thinking, and six sigma processes.

Disrupting Stealth Attrition
As consumer priorities and the ways that they interact with their financial institutions change, retail banks are increasingly struggling to forge deep emotional connections with their customers. That’s why SLDNXT invested in extensive consumer research on the causes and potential solutions to the growing problem of stealth attrition. For more information on our research, read the white paper here.

Embracing a Global Outlook
With offices in Toronto, Washington, and Shanghai, SLDNXT has an international presence and perspective on the rapidly shifting retail banking industry.