A new generation of “hub” or flagship branches are taking shape as the financial services industry is undergoing a personalization revolution. We are now seeing the concept of traditional branch banking evolving to adopt new formats resulting from digital and service transformations. Bank of Ireland is leading with the concept by moving towards ‘smart branches’ offering advice and self-service models. According to recent news in the Irish Times, the banks plans to convert up to 40% of its current branches to this new model with other banks such as KCB, AIB and Ulster Bank also adopting this move towards ‘smart hubs’.
For these new branch formats to remain relevant, banking institutions are faced with the need to offer a differentiated experience. While there’s currently an array of tools available to financial institutions for the purposes of enhancing customer experience ranging from design, sensory and digital, the use of scent is proving to be a new approach which is being adopted by some leading banks globally.
Some examples of banks currently adopting the branch transformation
Lloyds Bank in London’s Clapham Junction has a scent of white tea and thyme to give an inviting and welcoming feel. It also features a giant video wall, on which customers can view house prices in nearby streets, or get property-buying tips
US firm Capital One has 13 banking “cafes” across the US where its customers can do online or face-to-face banking, enjoy a freshly baked goods or simply make us of the free free wi-fi provided. This allows it customers to experience the brand using all their senses.
Citibank Singapore’s Citigold Private Client lounge, which services high-net-worth individuals provides relaxed branch environment using fragrances and music as well as providing customers a gift diffuser set containing the same scent.
So how should a bank smell?
According to Jennifer Dublino, vice president of development for Scent World Events, “A bank smell all depends on their branding. It might depend on where they’re located, what their colors are; for example, a bank that has orange in its logo might use an orange as part of its scent. If you have cooler colors, like yellow and blue, you might want fresher scents.” The proper bank scent is in some ways like all other signature fragrances in the sense that the main purpose is to elicit specific emotions with its customers.
What scents work for a bank? Here are our top 5 scents for banks:
‘White Tea & Mint’
A fresh, invigorating accord opening with refreshing notes of white tea, lemon, mandarin and green tea with a light floral, almond musky background.
‘Sorrel & Lemon Thyme’
A refreshing aromatic accord with top notes of lemon, bergamot and grapefruit, leading to a heart of herbal heart of thyme, rosemary and basil on a base of moss and woods.
‘Bamboo & Green Apple’
A vibrant, fruity accord of freshly sliced apple, grapefruit, orange and bergamot with a fresh green edge, leading to soft floral tones and musk.
‘Light Tuberose & White Peony’
Dewy freesia, tamarind, osmanthus, incense, tuberose, white peony, blue orris, arum lilies, cashmere woods, musk, vetiver haiti, bergamot, sandalwood, jasmine.
An intense, woody accord opening with rich notes of cedar, patchouli and vetiver lifted by touches of fresh pine. The heart of lavender and rosemary reaches into a smoky base of incense, labdanum and sensual amber.
The Scent Company provides professionally designed scent diffusion machines using the latest technology to ensures consistent fragrance levels and results. Easy installation, low maintenance, compact design and adjustable scent output ensures our scent machines will fit seamlessly into any space.