New Peoples Bank, Bristol, VA

New Peoples Bank is a community bank with 20 offices serving southwestern Virginia, northeastern Tennessee, southern West Virginia, and western North Carolina. The bank offers a full range of banking and financial services focused primarily on individuals, small to medium-size businesses, and the professional community.

When bank leaders opened a new branch in historic Bristol, Va., the birthplace of country music, they wanted a sign that visually demonstrated its support for the community and its culture. The branch is located on busy State Street, the dividing line between Virginia and Tennessee. State Street is a destination for tourists visiting local music venues as well as those attending NASCAR races at nearby Bristol Motor Speedway. Bank executives reached out to Jerry’s Signs of Abingdon, Va., to create a sign that honored the area’s musical roots, while allowing the bank to communicate directly with its customers and the public.

Located across the street from the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, which incorporates a large guitar as part of its sign, the bank’s new double-sided sign incorporates three-dimensional stringed musical instruments on a stone and brick monument structure. Atop the structure is a large high-resolution digital display manufactured by Watchfire Signs. The bank uses the digital sign to highlight products and services and to introduce employees to the community. It also supports the community by promoting public events of interest to residents.

“This is the third updated LED sign that we’ve installed at our branches, and we love how the signs help us to engage with the community while also giving us another platform to promote our services,” said Dan Counts, senior vice president and director of marketing at New Peoples Bank. The bank’s marketing support specialist can program the Watchfire signs from anywhere using Watchfire’s Ignite OPx software and can easily repurpose designs and maintain brand integrity on the displays.

Jerry’s Signs specified Watchfire for the bank’s locations because they trust that the signs will work. “In our 30-plus years in the sign business, we have serviced many kinds of LED signs and know how they are built,” said Jessica Cooke, vice president of the family-owned business. “We specify Watchfire exclusively because we understand that this is an important investment for our customers, and we trust that Watchfire signs will operate reliably.”

With customers’ preference for drive-through and internet banking today, exterior signage is more important than ever. “With fewer people walking into a branch, it’s important that we reach them where they are. Digital signs help us do this,” said Counts.

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